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2016 vintage white wine Spring release

Chardonnay

2016 was certainly different to 2015. The dry winter and warm conditions in Spring created an early bud burst. Although conditions remained warm, once again we did not experience any heat waves. In terms of the vintage, we had a very good crop and it ripened to perfection, coming off in late February. This of course was earlier than we normally pick but considering bud burst happened three weeks earlier than normal, the actual growing season was of similar length to past years.

We decided that we would not make St Blaise in 2016 as we did not have sufficient Viognier to make our normal blend. The Viognier went into a blend with some barrels of chardonnay that I thought were richer and more suited to making the style of wine we made back in 2013. So Blanche is back, full of flavour and yet still refreshing.

The Estate chardonnay continues to pursue my desire to let the vineyard speak through a light hand in the winery. Much has been written about so called "natural wines" be it good or bad. I struggle with such terms. For me, the issue is about creating wines of complexity and balance through the use of "wild, indigenous or free range" yeasts that live in the vineyard and winery. I take the same approach with malolactic ferment allowing this to happen without introducing commercially available bugs that have been created to by-pass the natural process. Oak is something that should enhance a wine through "seasoning" but the last thing I want to see is overt, stringy, dried out wood having a detrimental impact on the vineyard identity.

I am always fascinated when it comes to the issue of colour in wine. How strange it is when some people, confronted with a strong green-gold colour in chardonnay, are startled. Pneumatic air bag presses that press off whole bunch fruit are much quicker, require less labour and certainly can reduce the skin contact time on juice which all aid in reducing the colour. These are now the standard stock in trade tool of most wineries and they do a great job if you have a lot of fruit to push through. Conditioned of late to this paler style of chardonnay that comes from using a pneumatic press, it seems some people have forgotten that wines with depth and a strong colour, can and constantly do, age gracefully.

At Paradise IV our processing centres round the traditional use of a dual basket press (first used by Gary Farr back in 1970s) that allows for more skin contact whilst helping to sensibly hyper oxidise the juice, so that when it becomes wine, it will be more stable and less likely to oxidise in bottle. Our warm, wild ferments that occur in barrel also add to the depth of colour.

In short, we use traditional winemaking techniques that were once the hallmark of white Burgundy when they made chardonnays that did not suffer pre-ox and lasted for 20 plus years in bottle. Using this old technique also delivers subtle phenolics that are important in wines with depth of fruit. Structure in white wine is not just about acid.

I prefer to use a traditional basket press. The outcome is, in my opinion, superior. This is one example of where history and tradition are the better option, assuming that is, you like making chardonnay full of flavour, colour, texture and length. And you don't mind hard work, and have the extra time it takes to process and then clean up the press cages!

Needless to say, Paradise IV wines are made for us and our supporters. It is important to stress that what makes a brand successful requires integrity and a steadfast willingness to stay true to a style. Following the latest thought bubble trend or trying to win medals in wine shows where the latest fad is being championed is not what interests me. Our 2016 chardonnays wines reflect my passion for creating wines that are satisfying, balanced, complex and individual. Above all they must reflect Paradise IV Vineyard and the Moorabool Valley, Geelong.

Douglas Neal
Ruth Bonney
Graham Bonney

Chaumont 2015 blend cabernets and shiraz

We are especially proud of the 2015 Chaumont. The conditions leading up to harvest were ideal, and the fruit was harvested in prime condition. It almost made itself. Hue of blood magenta. Deep and full to the meniscus. Mulberry and raspberry fruit: typically cabernet with dried bay leaf, tobacco, cedar notes and hint of violets. Rich and rolling with savoury, silky tannins running through the wine. The flavour spectrum is red berry fruit with a finely tuned acidity bringing great freshness and nerve to the wine. The wine has a rich texture with all the elements of fruit, oak, tannin and acidity in balance. A long lingering finish - the hallmarks of its finesse and complexity.

Destined to live a long time, this wine is without question the most complete Chaumont we have made to date. It will age gracefully over the next 10 - 20 years developing even more complex secondary and tertiary characters with time. Like past Chaumonts, the best way to enjoy this wine in its youth is to decant a few hours beforehand.

Douglas Neal
Winemaker

2015 Red Wine Release Notes - A Dream Vintage

These are the vintages we dream about but only appear a few times each decade. A warm season with no heat spikes and rain falling in the right amounts at the right time created the perfect growing season. Flowering and set were not adversely impacted on as the weather was stable in October and November. A good crop developed but no more than two tonne of grapes to the acre.

As Dardel and Chaumont evolved in barrel, I realised that we had a very special pair of wines. I am often asked which wine I prefer. The truth is I am proud of both wines, because they reflect the site, the hard work that Graham and Ruth put in to growing the fruit, and the fact that they are quite different. I recently sat down with Jeremy Oliver and an old friend, Paddy Kendlar, the long time wine writer for the Sun Herald, now retired, and tasted these two wines against some of the icons of Australia. They more than just stood their own, they towered above the others in a way that showed just how significant this vineyard is in the pecking order of Australian premium wine. Not my thoughts but those of these two wine writers.

Jeremy Oliver declared in the November issue of Gourmet Wine Magazine that J.H. Dardel 2015 shiraz was his favourite wine of the year, pointing it 98/100, one of only three wines to gain his highest rating. Chaumont he declared wild, brambly and dark: the type of wine he likes to sit down and share only with one person-96/100. Huon Hooke scored J.H. Dardel Shiraz 2015 97 points and sent us an email indicating it was his top shiraz in Australia that he had tasted from the 2015 vintage.

Both wines need decanting, and both wines will live for twenty plus years. They are the pinnacle of what we have been working to achieve at Paradisie IV over the past 10 or so years. As I write this we are left pondering will the vintage of 2017 be another 2015. Time will tell, but the vineyard has never looked better and we have had rain when required and no heat spikes. Hopefully history will repeat itself!

Finally a heartfelt thank you to all those people who have been instrumental in supporting the wines of Paradise IV. We are very grateful for the support and following our wines have been given by both retailers and our mailing list clients.

Douglas Neal
Winemaker
Paradise IV

Loading Paradise IV on to The World

Loading Paradise IV wine on to 'The World'

Loading Paradise IV on to The World

Paradise IV Travels The World In Style

Three years ago Doug Neal sailed on the ship 'The World' to host a series of tastings and a black tie dinner for the residents. He was joined by Nathan Kinzbrunner of Giaconda to showcase Paradise IV and Giaconda wines. 'The World' was back in port just after Christmas 2016 to stock up on Paradise IV and Giaconda during its Australian tour. Both wines are popular with the residents of this luxury, privately owned cruising liner that spends most of the year circumnavigating the globe.

It has taken ten years of dedicated hard work to refine our wines.

Ignoring the latest trends, here today gone tomorrow fashions, we have remained firmly fixed on our vision wines that are complex, perfumed, accessible yet capable of ageing and above all, textural and round.
Paradise IV is its own style neither an imitation of others nor a follower.
Our commitment is to create wines that reflect our beautiful, historic site and my passion for harmony and elegance.

It is my belief that Shiraz, grown in the right conditions is more than capable of producing similar ethereal qualities to those of pinot noir.
I believe Geelong, especially sites in the Moorabool Valley, is a natural home for spicy, complex and highly aromatic Shiraz.

Chaumont continues to gather structure and depth with each vintage and it is certainly resonating well with the public.
Now others in the region are starting to see the inherent beauty in Bordeaux varietals grown on the right sites in and around Geelong.

Doug Neal