Saeke Light Dry Red


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2023 Saeke Wines Light Dry Red - PYRENEES, VIC. 750ml



** 2023 Saeke Light Dry Red Release **



Hello and thanks for reading, Jez Shiell here: 


This is the second release of Saeke Wines - and after the very humble one barrel from last year a chance to purchase certified organic fruit from Chapoutier's vineyards in the Pyrenees became available. There's *slightly* more this year, which is good news, a tonne and half of handpicked syrah. 


Years ago, when I was working with Dan Hunter at the Royal Mail Hotel in Dunkeld as head sommelier, Dan would always feature a tomato dish - around this time (late 2000s!) Andrew Guard had just started his eponymous, excellent, import company. The wines of Domaine L'Anglore were an early favourite, and I'd always buy as much of the L'Anglore Tavel as I could, as an aside, I've just looked an old spreadsheet, it was $23 LUC in 2009 - I think I bought around eight cases. The wine would sing with Dan Hunter's food, with that tomato dish each summer - and remains a perennial favourite. While their style has changed somewhat over the years, those early years of L'Anglore for me, remain a touchstone.


My aim with this wine, (named for my daughters, Sadie & Elke), is to make a natural, unforced wine, a light red where the fruit is picked at ultimate ripeness for flavour, so one avoids green characters, the beautiful organic fruit can shine and the wine exhibits more seriousness than a simple 'glouglou' style.   The very cold cellar at Cobaw Ridge allows for long, slow gentle ferments, and inspiration abounds in the wines and knowledge that reside there. My sincere thanks go to Alan & Nelly Cooper, fellow Cobaw Ridge vintage-hands Mahmood Fazal and Andy Ainsworth, and my main consultant and good friend Joshua Cooper, without whom I couldn’t have made this wine. Label artwork is by the tremendously talented Clare O’Flynn. 


2023 Saeke Wines Light Dry Red - PYRENEES VIC.


The fruit was handpicked on April 17th. 


2023 was again a very cool season, harking back to vintages of yore. We held out on picking to ensure full ripeness. After handsorting, the fruit was destemmed and a short three day maceration concluded apace. The wine was gently basket-pressed to old oak where a natural ferment proceeded. Barrels were topped with rosé wine as well as extra added rosé wine from the same vineyard. 


Following malolactic fermentation in the spring, the wine was racked to tank where syrah wine from the same vineyard with a more 'conventional' maceration was added for colour, tannin and general all-around deliciousness. The wine will take a light chill in a warm antipodean summer. 


No additions were made, aside 30ppm of SO2 at bottling, and the wine was, of course, un-fined and unfiltered. 852 bottles were filled. 





Mike Bennie's review of the 2022 Saeke release...




Jez Shiell has plied his trade through some of Vic’s great wine establishment and settled into the wonderful Winespeake in Daylesford. During the past five years out in the country, he’s been helping out at Cobaw Ridge and generally getting amongst the local, younger gen winemakers and their vineyards. Hence, we have a wine from him. This wine comes from Rowanston on the Track Vineyard, Macedon Ranges, down the way from Cobaw. It’s 15% whole bunch and gets made out at Cobaw Ridge. Exciting. Strong first hit out with pricing, one could say, but hey!

Delicious wine. Tense and fresh-feeling with a sluice of sour cherry, dried herbs, a umami/seaweed element and touches of earthiness/clove savoury stuff going on. It sat under medium weight, in cruise control, a powdered rock tannin profile in a swish through the wine and lending gentle pucker. Indeed, you could say few hairs are out of place here. I love a debut wine that knocks it out of the park, and, again, we have one here. What a delight.


Rated : 94 PointsTasted : JUN23Alcohol : 13%Price : $60Closure : DiamDrink : 2023 - 2030