Neil Stevens’ Tyrrell’s brands scoop Valley awards

By admin • 苏州夜网 • 18 Jan 2019

WINNING TEAM: Third generation vigneron Neil Stevens (far right bottom row) and wife Bernadette (second from right, middle row) with other Tyrrell’s team members with 2018 Hunter Valley Wine Show trophies. Picture: Chris ElfesLASTmonth, before a 2018 Hunter Valley Wine Show lunch crowd of 400, Neil Stevens took to the stage and confessed he would much rather be out on his tractor in the vines.

Neil’s characteristic avoidance of the limelight didn’t work last Maywhen he was namedHunter Valley Wine Awards2018 Viticulturist of the Year.

And it didn’t apply at the 2018 wine show as results showed that six Tyrrell’s Stevens brand wines from the vines he manages won trophies and four took gold medals.

The 2007 Stevens Shiraz won gold and the trophy for the best museum red and gold medals went to the 2005 and 2014 Stevens semillons.

The 2018 Single Vineyard Stevens Semillon was the best current-vintage semillon, also took gold and played a role in Tyrrell’s Iain RiggsProvenance Trophy win with 2004, 2011 and 2018 Stevens semillons. And international judge Corrine Mui gave the Silver Bullet award to 2007, 2014 and 2017 Stevens Shiraz reds.

Neil is a third-generation vigneron. His grandfather Alfred Stevens began the dynasty in 1940 when he bought the Air Strip vineyard and sold fruit to Maurice O’Shea at Mount Pleasant.

Neil’s father George ran the Glen Oak vineyard in Marrowbone Road, Pokolbin, and as a teenager Neil worked alongside his dad acquiring the skills that have seen him lauded as “one of great viticulturists of the Hunter” in James Halliday’sWine Companion 2018.

In 1984 Neil and his wife Bernadette bought the Old Hillside vineyard in Marrowbone Road and he and George sold grapes to Lindemans from their 35 hectares of Glen Oak, Old Hillside and Air Strip vines.

In 1993, however, George and Neil made what was to be a propitious switch to Tyrrell’s – a deal sealed and maintained since simply on a handshape with Bruce Tyrrell.

Behind the deal was long friendship and history between the parties. Bruce and Neil went to school together while Bruce’s sons Chris and John were in the same class as Neil’s son Gavin.

Tyrrell’s has made great use of the Old Hillside and Glenoak fruit and last year it bought Old Hillside from Neil and Bernadette. Bruce Tyrrell prizes the acquisition, believing it is NSW’s oldest producing vineyard, with some vines planted in 1867 from first-generation cuttings from n wine godfather James Busby.

The sale hasn’t lessened Neil’s passion for growing top-quality fruit. He’s continuing that at Glen Oak and in managing Adam Elbourne’svineyard, Mike McGowan’s vineyard and Ross Crump’s Parched Cow vineyard.

WINE REVIEWSA SILVER BULLET HITWITHthe marque’s 2007 and 2014versions, theTyrrell’s 2017 Single Vineyard Stevens Shirazwon the 2018 Silver Bullet Trophy. It’s bright garnet and has14 per cent alcohol,bouquet garni scents, and juicy plum front–palate flavour. Morello cherry, licorice, spearmint and mocha oak meld on the middle palate and dusty tannins play at the finish.


DRINK WITH:osso bucco.

AGEING: 12 years.

RATING: 5 stars

FOUR-TROPHY SEMILLONTHISTyrrell’s 2013 Belford Single Vineyard Semillonwon 2018 Hunter Wine Show trophies for best white wine, best two-year-old and older semillon, best semillon and best named vineyard white. It shows green-tinted strawhues, vibrant lime front-palate flavour and middle-palate lemon curd, nashi pear and flint.The finish has slatey acid.


DRINK WITH: scallops.

AGEING: 12 years.

RATING: 5 stars

MOTHER’S RED PLEASESTHETyrrell’s 2017 Mother’s Single Vineyard Shirazand today’s other wines areattyrrells苏州楼凤.auand cellar door. This 14%-alcohol red is cherry red and has berry pastille aromas and lifted blackcurrent front-palate flavour.The middle palate shows cranberry, spice, Turkish delight chocolate and cedary oak and the finish minty tannins.

PRICE: $35.

DRINK WITH:coq au vin.

AGEING: 10 years.

RATING: 4.5 stars

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