- From the Shed
Well, the year 2000 has certainly flown by and Jeanneret Wines has grown considerably in the last twelve months. It has been a while since we last updated you on all the goings-on around the winery and when you hear what we've been up to you'll see why!
We expanded the winery further at the beginning of this year, adding a receival area and ramp, more catwalk, more tanks, a new larger capacity crusher and press, pumps and the tanks have been insulated! We barely knew ourselves over vintage with so much new equipment to play with. We have also increased our Semillon plantings this year by adding a further 2 acres to our existing 8 acres of vineyard on the property. It has really been 'all systems go' all year for us!
We had hoped that our 2000 crush would reach about 130 tonnes but fate was against us and only just over a 110 tonnes of fruit was put through the crusher. Our Riesling and Semillon were particularly affected by low yields but luckily we experienced no quality problems at all.
The latest addition to the Jeanneret Wines crew has been a surprise visitor to the winery in the past few months…Ben has discovered that we have our own resident 'winery echidna'! Swiftly christened 'Spike' his presence was first noticed when Ben arrived in the winery to find the lab door off its hinges and plastic beakers from a ground level cupboard strewn over the floor. Assuming that it must have been one of the mischievous kitties (with whom I'm sure many of our Cellar Door visitors are familiar) it came as a surprise to discover the culprit still in the cupboard! Ben's attempts to remove Spike from the lab cupboard were to no avail but he managed to get himself back out to the real world by the following morning. He has since revisited the lab, evidenced by the general chaos that follows his calls - we're not sure what the attraction is but so long as he wants to hang around we don't mind.
Meanwhile we are currently on the throes of a hot dry Summer and soon our thoughts will turn to the vineyards as fruit ripens and before we know it another harvest will be upon us! Watch this space and we'll keep you posted!
Ben, Pat and Carissa.
- Jeanneret Clare Valley Riesling 2000
(91+; 12% a/v; drink now to 2015)
Ben Jeanneret did arts rather than winemaking, which may be why his wines are so uncommonly elegant, with choice balance and finesse. As in this exceptional riesling. It's perfumed more like your polite freesia and citrus Chanel number than many of its rivals, which can be slightly phenolic when sunburnt. This whole wine is a gentle, smooth, refining experience. It can be loved now, fresh and dainty, or be kept to relish in a later, more burnished decade.
PHILIP WHITE (Advertiser, 9th August 2000)
- uncorked summer 2000 Wine Awards
Jeanneret Riesling 2000 $16 * * * *
Ben Jeanneret is one of the smaller producers in the Clare Valley. His 2000 Riesling is a lovely, precocious wine: full, soft and round. It had aromas of garden herbs and small flowers and is drinking well already.
Food: Leek and potato soup
Ageing: drink now until 2005
(The Age, epicure uncorked magazine November 2000)
- Jeanneret Organically Grown Semillon 1999
(89++; 11.5 a/v; $15 CD 2003-06)
The Clare wines of Ben Jeanneret stand out for being both characterful and elegant. Where others seem to imagine all we want is ever-increasing volumes of alcohol, this winemaker quietly builds wines which instead offer style and balance. This semillon begins with a bouquet of smoky peach blossom honey. The palate's slender and lemony, before building a firm rise of drying, mealy tannin, which eventually surrenders to that long, lemony acidity. While the tannin's still a touch abrupt, it guarantees rare glory after three or four years' careful cellaring.
PHILIP WHITE (Advertiser, 9th February 2000)
- Jeanneret Bottle-fermented Grenache, 1999
88 points; $20; 12.5 per cent a/v; drink now to 2004
Ben Jeanneret has a more gentle touch than many of his Clare winemaking neighbours; he seems to better understand the value of delicacy and finesse, and how not to over-oak everything. This sparkling grenache is a fine example: it's dry and nutty, having had no liqueuring or dosage, and seems better balanced than many a still grenache from Clare, the Barossa and McLaren Vale. There are seductive hints of rose and cherry, and the palate is crunchy and crisp, rather than huge and alcoholic. It's perfect spring drinking.
PHILIP WHITE (Advertiser, 27th September 2000)
- 'OUR JUDGES CHOOSE AUSTRALIA'S TOP 30 REDS UNDER $25'
1998 Jeanneret Cabernet Sauvignon
From one of the lesser known, small Clare Valley winemakers comes a fruit-driven, elegant cabernet in traditional claret style. The fruit flavours are sweet and ripe, coupled with some wood matured but not oaky nuances. The palate is deep yet not overblown, medium- to full-bodied with restrained supple tannins and fine balance. No excesses of oak, alcohol, jammy fruit or gumleaf characters here - just a damn fine drink, now and for at least a decade.
HUON HOOKE (The WINE Magazine, August / September 2000)