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This Australian marsanne has wonderful aromas of stone fruit and herbs which continue on the refreshing, medium-bodied palate. Charming in its youth, this also has the ability to age well, developing fascinating almond and kerosene aromas. Rhône grapes are something of a speciality of Tahbilk in Central Victoria and they are the largest single holder of marsanne vines in the world, with older vines than many in the Rhône itself.
Product Code: AU20471
View all products by Tahbilk Wines
Located 120km north of Melbourne in the Nagambie Lakes region of central Victoria, Tahbilk is a winery steeped in tradition, having a continuous winemaking history since 1860. The original cellars are still in use today and the property is classified by the National Trust of Australia. Tahbilk excels in the white Rhône grapes of marsanne, roussanne, viognier, cabernet sauvignon and shiraz as well as many other classic varieties. All are planted in premium cooler-climate sites covering around 200 hectares. Tahbilk claims to have the largest single holdings of marsanne vines in the world, with even older marsanne and shiraz vines than those in the Rhône itself. The excellent Tahbilk Marsanne has long had a dedicated following by members due to its complexity and ability to develop into the familiar honeysuckle fragrance and character traditionally associated with the variety. The Purbrick family have been owners since 1927 and have been supplying The Society since the 1960s. Currently at the helm is fourth-generation Alister Purbrick, who is head winemaker as well as chief executive. In 2005 Tahbilk opened its substantial wetlands project which has helped to win it awards in for its wine tourism and environmental initiatives. Significantly, Tahbilk is also part of Australia’s First Families of Wine, a trade alliance of 12 family-owned businesses.
Victoria is the southernmost state on the Australian mainland and contains within its borders a diverse collection of terroirs, perhaps the most varied within Australia. This diversity has helped the state to earn an enviable reputation for the quality of its wines, the areas that they hail from and its wineries.It has a long history since the first settlers in the region planted vines, but the catalyst for expansion was the gold rush of the mid-19th century which saw many a vineyard established. This promising start was stalled dramatically by the arrival of phylloxera in the 1870’s and to this day the Victoria produce less than half the amount produced in neighbouring South Australia despite having many more vineyards. Despite its small size (it is the smallest state other than Tasmania) it has an amazing diversity of terroirs, from the dry, torrid north-east where fortified wines are king, to the positively chilly by comparison Mornington Peninsula due south of Melbourne on the coast. It also embraces a fair chunk of the Murray Darling region where irrigation makes the vast expanses of vineyard a possibility and from where three quarters of the state’s grape yield derives.The Yarra Valley is a short car ride to the north of Melbourne, and has a wide selection of tourist diversions to prove it. It also has an array of excellent estates and vineyards at various elevations and in a variety of soils, from clay and sand to volcanic. Rediscovered in the 1960s and prized for its cool nights and warm, sunny days, it has become synonymous with excellent pinot noirs and elegant, intense chardonnays that are doing much to reclaim Australia’s reputation for the variety. Shiraz has also proved a success in a more restrained style.To the south of Melbourne, and benefiting fully from an unrelenting oceanic influence on its doorstep is the Mornington Peninsula. Surrounded by the Southern Ocean and Port Phillip Bay on three sides, and moderated by the breezes these expanses of water generate the summer climate on the peninsula is for the most part temperate. This is a region of small estates producing some of the most elegant and refined pinot noirs in the new world let alone Australia. The soils vary from volcanic deposits to sandy clay and after pinot noir there is fine chardonnay and an increasing volume of pinot gris. Close to Melbourne the area of Geelong enjoys a windy, maritime climate but is slightly warmer, making plump pinot and some delicious shiraz and chardonnay.In the north-east lies one of the great wine regions of Australia, though it is not shiraz, or chardonnay nor riesling for which it is famed, but rather the muscat grape, made into a fortified treasure that is unique to the area and which is one of Australia’s great vinous jewels. Rutherglen Liqueur Muscats, and Muscadelles, can hold their head up in the company of any great port, sherry or Madeira for their rich, complex, silky and concentrated character. The summers here are torrid, the landscape arid and the grapes full of sugar. And the red table wines made are dense, brooding examples that are improving all the time. But it is the joyous fortifieds that steal the show.
"I'm a big fan of this wine and have been buying it for several years. Wonderful with food, but can be enjoyed on its own too. I recently opened a 2012 vintage (the first one I purchased) and can confirm - it does do great things in the bottle when aged, but still retains its clean fresh taste"
I would recommend this wine
"Lively and fruity nose, peaches, honey and pineapple in the flavour, and a slightly sweet aftertaste. Keen to get more to see how it develops."
The Mail on Sunday 20th Jan 2019
Peachy Beaut: Peachy yet zesty, drink it
immediately or keep it for a couple of years. - Olly Smith
JancisRobinson.com 1st Jun 2018
"This is honeysuckle
in a bottle, with stone fruits, lemon, and nutty and herbal notes. Honeysuckle
may sound cloying but it's not – the flavours are lovely and fresh and it's
unoaked, having been fermented in stainless steel - what's amazing for a wine
at this price is that it ages beautifully, getting even more honeyed and even a
little petroly with age. Our tasting notes database rates vintages of Tahbilk
Marsanne from 1973 to 2011 with an average drinking window of 13 years, in some
vintages up to 25 years. How many sub-£10 wines offer that? - Emily Lightfoot"
"I'm surprised that Tex-Mex is suggested as a suitable food pairing with this wine....this is very very delicate and in my view probably best drunk as an aperitif.....when you let the taste linger free from food it is really quite good....."
Mr Gerry Hegarty (30-Sep-2017)
Decanter (1st Nov 2017)
"Tahbilk has built a
reputation for producing Rhône varietal wines. A wonderful expression of the
grape, this opens to beautiful floral intensity with white stone fruits.
Medium-bodied with a textured feel, developing into herbal notes on the finish. - Christelle Guibert"
Decanter (4th Oct 2017)
"A wine with genuine
charm and heartfelt integrity, this is a classic Tahbilk creation. It will
convert everyone in its path, as it is one of the finest value iconic white
wines in the world. - Matthew Jukes"
Daily Record (16th Sep 2017)
"Many of The Wine
Society's customers slip one luxury bottle into their orders and this soft,
floral, Oz white would suit that role perfectly. One of Matthew Jukes' Top 100
Australian Wines, it uses the essentially Rhône grape - marsanne - to bring us
all the variety's classic textured savoury characteristics and underpinning
pear and quince fruit. To those element, though, it adds slowly ascending
grapefruit acidity and hints of sweeter spices. - Brian Elliott"
Scotland on Sunday (6th Aug 2017)
"Ironically for this
quintessential white Rhône grape variety, Australia's Tahbilk is one of the
world's oldest marsanne vineyards - with a history dating back over 150 years.
Here the variety shows its class with wine centred around floral, quince and pear
fruit, slowly evolving grapefruit acidity and marsanne's characteristic
textured, herbal savoury spine. - Brian Elliott"
100 Best Australian Wines (23rd May 2017)
"This is a very pretty
wine … it is a wine with charm and also integrity because it is a classic
Tahbilk creation, but it is also a little softer and more approachable than
recent releases, I think it will convert everyone in its path - it certainly
deserves to. Not least because it is one of the finest value iconic wines in
the world. - Matthew Jukes"
Yorkshire Post (23rd Jul 2016)
remains one of the few 100 per cent Marsanne wines from Australia and should
be on any keen wine taster's checklist (£9.50, the Wine Society). It combines
apricot and lemon pith freshness with a layer of baking spices and almonds. - Christine Austin
"Interesting note ...given this wine is unoaked. The mealy, breadcrusty, vanillin aromas are a classic signature of Nagambie Lakes Marsanne. This is a superb example for silly money - ages 10+ years, too.
Dr Stephan Muller (28-Feb-2014)
"I found this wine to be technically sound, but so over-oaked that the whole drinking experience was unpleasant. The advertised crispness was lost in a vanilla blanket and the 'honeysuckle fragrance' nowhere to be found.
I have never liked oak in the quantities sometimes used in Australia and this was in my view a prime example of how not to do it. It is possible that this was a one-off, but it was a real disappointment."
Mr Iain Perring (26-Aug-2013)
"What a superb glass of wine - honeysuckle, peach, apricot...the nose is so interesting it takes a little reminding to get round to actually drinking it. And the taste doesn't disappoint! Particularly recommended for any viognier fans out there who fancy a change."
Ms Katy Benson (23-Oct-2011)
"A lovely wine. Intriguing nose of intense honeysuckle. I taste honeysuckle and suggestions of pear, cooked banana?, honey, and a mineral and almost steely acidity."
Mr Andrew Watson (17-Nov-2015)
"An extremely interesting wine, the nose will have you dipping in and out for hours. Mineral and complex. Top aussie producer, superb prices."
Mr Thomas Choong (14-Sep-2015)
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