Now Trending: Fortified wines
Gralyn Estate has added to its trophy room winning the 2021 ANZ Boutique Wine Show for their Gralyn Estate Artizan Rare Muscat NV, the 11th trophy win for the storied wine.
Adding to that, Gralyn Estate was awarded a double gold medal at the Global Fine Wine Challenge and a score of 95 Points and Gold at the Melbourne Royal Wine Awards, further cementing Gralyn Estate as a preeminent name in Australian fortified winemaking.
Annette Baxter, whose parents Graham and Merilyn Hutton established Gralyn Estate in 1975, says that the accolades are a result of the groundwork her parents put in 50 years ago to create exceptional fortified wines.
“Winning the trophy with our Artizan at the Boutique Wine Awards in Sydney matches us against the best in the country and those that are the best in the country are amongst the best in the world, fortified icons, and to be standing side by side with them and winning trophies, well that's super satisfying,” says Annette.
Owners and winemakers Scott and Annette Baxter say they are witness to a growing trend of Australians rediscovering fortified wines.
“We deal with a lot of avid fortified drinkers, and it's quite natural for them to open a bottle of fortified, but it’s also being discovered by a new generation of wine lovers and we’re seeing younger people come through the cellar door to seek them out,” Annette says.
“There's only a handful of us in Western Australia that specialise in fortified wines. There’s the Swan Valley, who are very well known for their history and their fortified wines, which is inspiring, but we don’t see fortified wines as purely a historic wine style, it’s very much the present and future for us here in Margaret River.”
Scott Baxter says the Artizan Rare Muscat was developed from a solera that dates back more than 40 years and is predominantly Margaret River Muscat.
“The vineyard is mature, low yielding and produces lovely juicy fruit, which is very perfumed when young - think, Turkish delight and rose petals, and as this material matures, we start to see more intense flavours of raisin and toffee,” Scott says.
“Very old brandy barrels are used to store the Artizan, so as not to impart too much oak character, allowing it to develop rancio complexity.
“These wines are precious as there is considerable loss each year from evaporation, what’s described as the Angel’s Share, and this gives the wine its power.
“We only bottle a small amount annually, so the wine holds its freshness. The quality of the fruit, barrel age, blending and freshening is what makes this such a great fortified.
“We’re fortunate to have had Graham and Merilyn’s foresight to barrel age this beautiful material each year and transform it into what we see today.
“We're winning accolades now because Annette’s parents were laying stuff down nearly 50 years ago and they truly believed in the quality of the land which they cared for, the fruit that they were growing and the wine that they were making.
“They knew it was special, they knew it had its place and they believed that they were on to something for which we’re very grateful, because now we're reaping the rewards of their vision and hard work,” says Scott.
Gralyn Estate was Margaret River’s first commercial cellar door that opened in in 1978 and its wines are only available at the cellar door on Caves Road, online at www.gralyn.com.au and in a few select restaurants.