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The Morambro Creek Estate
The property was founded in 1994 by the Bryson Family who first settled in the Padthaway region in 1955. In the early 1990's the Brysons decided to take the plunge and plant vines on the property. Initially their plan was to sell these grapes to the big wine producers but after a few vintages, the desire to see the fruits of their labour turned into their own wine, was just too great for them to resist. In 1998 they held onto a small selection of their fruits and sent it to the Cape Jaffa Winery to be made into wine. Morambro Creek was born, the name coming from the creek that meanders through the property.
“Rich, opulent reds from Padthaway that will repay a short period of cellar aging.”
- Anthony Dias' blue pocket guide to wine 2006
The Morambro Creek Vineyards
They farm 420 acres, separated into two plots each of 210 acres, about 7-8 kilometers apart. The vines enjoy a cool Mediterranean climate with plentiful winter / spring rainfall and the limestone subsoil that provides the excellent drainage. The grapes varieties cultivated here are Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.
At Morambro Creek, their sole objective is to produce the best wines possible from their unique vineyard site. Planted on own rootstock and located in the Padthaway valley which is comprised of rich Terra Rosa soils their estate vineyard benefits from excellent sun exposure producing grapes of optimum flavor, color and tannin development. The warm summer days are moderated each evening by coastal winds that cool the vines and result in a longer ripening period. This extended period allows for the grape tannins and seed to fully ripen prior to being harvested, thus creating wines that are rich and supple on the palate.
Their pursuit of great wine can also be seen in the meticulous management of their vineyard. They strive for low crop yields and small grape bunches of intense flavor, and whilst they employ the latest technology in the vineyard to help them achieve vine balance and reduced vigor, they harvest when the fruit reaches full flavor development.
Sweet, savory aromas lead the way, sort of a mineral-laden black fruit---dark berries and plums. Smoke, dried herbs, violet, meat, wet stones and a hint of ironstone complete the package. It penetrates yet is a broad fragrant expression. I've always felt the aromatic range of this wine has its foundation in the four clones we use.
The black fruits continue on the palate, with black cherry, dark plum and spices echoing the aroma. While it's rich, almost luxurious, there's a tannic foundation and a structured acidity. Floral and earthy, the dried herbs and stones emerge here too, along with tobacco, thyme and lavender. This is a food-lover's Syrah, with weight, brightness and dimension.
(Clones 174, 383, 99 and Phelps) Vineyards: Ciel du Cheval Ranch at the End of the Road Classic Red Mountain character defines the Syrah La Côte Rousse, despite being the product of a cooler vintage. The warm site vineyards, Ciel du Cheval and Ranch at the End of the Road accumulated more heat than our other sites and ripened the four Syrah clones to a greater extent; we’ve never seen Red Mountain deliver less than full physiological maturity, every vintage. Nevertheless this vintage retains a vibrancy and energy that isn’t often found on Red Mountain.
From the hot, windswept slopes of Red Mountain, the 2014 Syrah la Cote Rousse is a serious, tight, backwards effort that won’t be for those looking for instant gratification. Possessing classic Red Mountain red and black fruits, dried earth, pepper, dried spice and black olive characteristics, it’s full-bodied, beautifully textured, has flat out awesome purity and impeccable balance. Give it 4-5 years of cellaring and drink it over the following decade or so.
While there's a long history of terrific wines from this estate, I think they've hit another level in the past few vintages, and these latest releases show a purity, elegance and textural quality not found in early bottlings. I'm sure this is in part due to the creation of a second wine, and even a stricter selection for all of the top cuvees. In short, don't miss a chance to try these wines. 96 Points Wine Advocate
Morambro Creek Cabernet is 100 percent Cabernet
Deep purple in color. A rich elegant nose of cassis with overtones of vanilla and coffee. Lush, ripe palate dominated by black fruits, cherry and chocolate. Full bodied with savory, integrated fruit tannins and persistent finish.
Winemaking at Morambro Creek is very traditional and labour intensive. Oak maturation takes place using 35% new French barrels. This blend was put together using select barrels from our family estate that best demonstrate the intensity of our fruit balanced by integrated oak.
Total Acidity: 6.6 g/L
Morambro Creek Padthaway Shiraz is made from 100 percent Shiraz.
Deep inky black & purple in colour. The nose is perfumed with violet, blackberry, vanilla and spice with a touch of earth and liquorice over white pepper in the background. Expansive palate, smooth lush ripe back fruits nicely balanced oak, plenty of concentration with a long finish.
Winemaking at Morambro Creek is very traditional and labor intensive.
Oak maturation takes place using 35% new barrels both French and American. This blend was put together using select barrels from our family estate that best demonstrate the intensity of our fruit balanced by integrated oak.
excellent with barbecued pork, beef, venisson as well as grilled vegetables.
Alchohol is 14.5%
It would be easy to argue that oak has been applied too heavily here but then, the weight of rich, sweet, plum-drenched fruit does its best to shoulder it. This wine is chubby with both texture and flavour, its resin and choc-mint characters offset by an all-you-can-eat serve of assorted berries. - James Halliday"
- Halliday Wine Companion (July 23rd 2019), 93 pts
Lancel Creek Vineyard is perched above the tiny hamlet of Occidental on the remote Sonoma Coast. This secluded, two-acre site was prepared, planted, and is still tended by Ulises Valdez. The pale, off-white Goldridge soil provides just enough nutrients and moisture for these densely planted vines to ripen a small amount of intensely aromatic and flavorful Chardonnay. The vineyard faces the Pacific Ocean, a mere five miles to the west. The combined influence of the cold Pacific and the warming afternoon sun produces a wine of incredible richness and sublime balance.
Soil types: Goldridge, fine sandy loam.
Age of the vines: 15 years
Flirting with perfection, the 2016 Chardonnay Lancel Creek Vineyard offers a touch more zip in its crushed lemon, white flowers, mint, and honeysuckle, aromas and flavors. Rich, full-bodied, and concentrated, yet just incredibly pure, this is a heavenly Chardonnay that's getting up there with the crème de la crème in the vintage. Tasting like a Grand Cru Chablis on Steroids, it's going to continue drinking beautifully for over a decade. It's a wow wine and should be sought out by readers. The Chardonnay of the vintage? - Jeb Dunnuck 99 Points
Heritage School Julies Creekside Cabernet Sauvingon is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Cabernet Sauvignon Julie’s Creekside Vineyard is an impressive, opaque purple colored wine that is super-concentrated and extracted with relatively sweet tannins, a touch of chocolate and espresso, a full-bodied mouthfeel and pure, dark, primordial fruits. This is a big, masculine, concentrated wine set for long-term aging. Saying that, it has a certain accessibility, but won’t hit its prime for at least another 8-10 years and keep 25-30.
"The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Julie's Creekside Vineyard is dark, sumptuous and surprisingly open-knit for such a young wine. Black cherry, plum, game, rose petal, sage, smoke and earthy notes underpin a core of intense dark red cherry and plum fruit. Soft contours and generous, super-ripe fruit add to the wine's near and medium-term appeal. - Antonio Galloni"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (December 2016), 93 pts
Laird Chardonnay Cold Creek is 100% Chardonnay
Our Cold Creek Chardonnay is grown in the slightly cooler microclimate of the Sonoma side of the Los Carneros district to the west, where thick fog and cool marine winds protect its tender skins. Indigenous to the Burgundy region of France, Clones 15 and 95 at a 50:50 ratio exhibit an approachable style and luminous, golden color.
Tasting Notes: The appearance of golden straw leads you through an aromatic journey with notes of tropical fruits, sweet nectarine, melon, and vanilla. The wine has flavors of jasmine, citrus, and ripe Fuji apple that are complemented by a creamy mouthfeel and hints of lemon curd. The finish lingers on the palate, making you yearn for the next sip.
Vineyard: 100% Cold Creek Ranch
Appellation: Los Carneros
Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
50% Malolactic Fermentation
Alain Jaume Lirac Rouge Roquedon is made from 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre, 10% Carignan.
Inky color. The nose is dominated by aromas of wild fruit (blackcurrant, blackberry) and spices. Long and balanced mouth.
"Roquedon" deliver more of the "round"- "sweet" body from the Grenache, and cherry-red fruit expression. It is dark in color, almost black.
Traditional wine-making in stainless still vats. Crushed and destemmed grapes. Fermentation temperature : 30°C. 18 days of vatting with pigeages. Ageing mainly in vats and about 10% in oak barrels. Bottling 15 months after the harvest.
"Based on 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and the rest Mourvèdre and Carignan, the 2016 Lirac Roquedon offers more black (and even some blue) fruits to go with complex white pepper, garrigue, and new leather aromas and flavors. Ripe, opulent, and fleshy on the palate, this medium to full-bodied Lirac has loads of character."
- Jeb Dunnuck (March 2019), 92 pts