Winemaker: Charlie Melton, Krys Smith
Year Established: 1984
Production: 12000 Dozen
Charlie Melton is one of Australia’s leading independent winemakers.
Charlie is so relaxed [when not making wine] and non-egotistical that when talking to him you can easily forget how talented a winemaker he is. Maybe when your wines do the talking there isn’t much that needs to be said?
After a decade working with Peter Lehman, Charlie established his own operation in 1984 with a focus on red wines, along with the ‘Rose of Virginia’- arguably Australia’s leading example of Rosé.
Few winemakers can claim to produce Australia’s leading examples of particular wine styles however both the ‘Rose of Virginia’ and the famous ‘Nine Popes’ [Shiraz Grenache Mataro] are benchmark Australian wines.
The Charles Melton Nine Popes is regarded as the wine that kick started the Grenache revival in Australia, the wine first produced in the late 1980’s with Charlie keen to show the quality of wine possible from seriously old vine Barossa Grenache and Shiraz. The oldest vines available at that time were over 130 years old.
Three trophies at the London International Wine Challenge this year for the new release 2014 Charles Melton Nine Popes [Best Barossa Red, Best South Australian Red and Best Australian Red Wine] suggests that this is one of the best vintages yet, in a long line up of outstanding wines.
The Charles Melton range is rounded out with a selection of outstanding Shiraz including two contrasting premium wines; Grains of Paradise Shiraz is one of the best examples of traditional ‘regional’ Barossa Shiraz from vineyards on the Barossa floor and Voices of Angels is from higher altitude vineyards with more cool climate character enhanced by a portion of Riesling. Both will reward long term cellaring.
Recent vintages across all Charles Melton wines combine the traditional Barossa richness of flavour with both elegance and restraint.
All wines drink well on release and [The Rose of Virginia aside] have the fruit and structure to cellar for over a decade.