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In 1913, eager to expand his flourishing family business, EJ Roberts recognised that the soil and the climate of the region were well suited for viticulture. Foiled by the local railway in his attempt to lease a block of land, Roberts went straight to the Chairman of Railway Commissioners.
As his diary relates:
“After a quite a friendly all-round talk…he told the engineer to let me have it.”
The Murray Darling is Australia’s second-largest wine region, home to a diverse range of wine styles, activities and a vibrant food scene. Straddling the Murray River, it’s a haven of rivers, wetlands and forests.
The first vines were planted in 1888 and the region’s small producers are building on the firm foundations of the past while adding interest with innovative wines and alternative varieties.
The Murray Darling region spans Victoria and New South Wales, stretching west to the border of South Australia. The city of Mildura sits at its heart. You can drive to Mildura from Adelaide in a little over four hours or fly from Sydney or Melbourne.
Summers are hot and winters are mild. Being inland, nights can get quite cool. The soil is unique to the Murray River system, ranging from brown to red-brown loams and sands and supporting vigorous vine growth. Mediterranean varieties are perfectly suited to the warm climate of the Murray Darling wine region, and a growing list of wineries are producing wines such as Pinot Grigio, Vermentino, Sangiovese and Barbera.
Climate was hot and dry with minimal frost across the region during the period of critical growth leading to high quality grapes with intense varietal flavours. The dry winter reduced yields from some vineyards planted on sandy soils but overall yields were as expected. Water deficit in the soil between veraison and maturity stages enabled rich and concentrated red forest fruit flavours in red wines.
After night harvesting, the grapes were crushed into static fermenters, with a brief cold soak to extract colour and flavour. Controlled fermentation occurred over seven days, followed by gentle pump-overs six times daily to maximise the extraction of colour whilst retaining a soft juicy palate structure. Settled for three weeks before racking into new French and American oak for 6 months.
Alive with blackberry, raspberry and vanilla with a hint of roasted coffee bean. There’s concentrated dark plum and spicy pepper flavours shaped by lively tannins. It’s a great wine now, but a few more interesting things will develop with another 2-4 years quietly hidden away.
Grilled Chicken Caesar salad.
Will cellar for up to 2-3 years.
Wines from this producer