19/11/2013 4 Comments
Matthew Paulett, Ralph Kyte-Powell, Tim White, Dave Brookes, Kim West, Andrew Graham, Nick Stock, James Halliday, Jeni Port, Neil Paulett, Frank Pan, Jim Plouffe, Alison Paulett, Ali Paulett.
The Clare Valley's Paulett Wines has celebrated its 30 year anniversary with a vertical tasting of 30 Rieslings, a new release red and a specially brewed beer.
Neil Paulett and his wife Alison started Paulett Wines in 1983 and now share the business with their son Matt and his wife Ali.
While their portfolio covers a range of varieties, it's premium Clare Riesling that Pauletts are best known for and, yesterday, a bottle from every vintage of the past 30 years was poured for a handful of friends, family and invited media guests including James Halliday.
Neil said the occasion has given him reason to step back and look at the big picture of what's been achieved.
"From a basis of self-belief, we have developed an efficient, functional and expandable winery," Neil said.
"We have achieved success with our wines and that has been gratifying, but the greatest satisfaction is that sufficient people like our wines to keep us going.
"We have gathered a group of almost like-minded people who are happy to be with us and to share our journey.
"Best of all, we have Matthew and Ali and, hopefully in the future, their children will be working with us."
The unique opportunity to look back over Rieslings from every vintage was a great testament to the use of screwcaps, with those wines bottled since the initial transition in 1997 still looking consistently excellent while many earlier bottles under cork had not fared so well.
Guest James Halliday commented on Pauletts' history, noting the difficult first year when Ash Wednesday bushfires destroyed much of the property.
"It's a rags to riches or tragedy to wonderful fulfillment story; when they moved here and got promptly blitzed by frost, then fire."
"Riesling is by far and away the greatest wine to come out of the Clare Valley and indeed a number of people would say the greatest wine to come out of Australia."
"The Antonina wines are a reflection of this; truly wonderful, truly outstanding single block wines, they are outrageously good."
"There is a finesse, thoroughbred, high strung quality to Polish Hill River Riesling and I think that does come through in the wines under screwcap."
The day also included tastings of at a handful of back vintages of the premium Antonina Rieslings, plus a look forward with the first tastes of a new red wine - the 47/74 2008 Malbec Cabernet - and the ?Last Minute' beer.
Neil said the 47/74 wine was produced in close collaboration with his son, Matthew, and makes the most of the excellent Malbec produced in 2008.
"We have tasted and blended this wine to reflect the power, unity and complexity of like wines merged into one," Neil said.
"The name 47/74 represents the mirror image of our years - 1947 and 1974 - and symbolises the transition of the old to the new."
Meanwhile, on the beer, Neil said, quite simply: "I like beer."
"It is also a complementary drink to wine - there's nothing like a good palate cleanser."
"The beer is fermented and bottled in the Clare Valley and is a brew of our own design, in the style of the English extra special bitter. It is cloudy and has a lovely bitter finish.
"As for the name... thank goodness for the Last Minute otherwise nothing would get done!"
Pauletts Last Minute beer and the 47//74 wine will initially be on sale at the cellar door (exact retail prices yet to be determined).
Media contact: Ali Paulett; firstname.lastname@example.org; (08) 8843 4328