Number 6………Julian’s lucky number, though you would be forgiven for thinking the world and large parts of Australia are not all that lucky at present. However, the seasons inexorably role on and in making these wines and continuing to put together a body of work that resonates so strongly makes us, at least, feel very lucky. Chin up Australia, get vaccinated and generally be awesome to one and other.
As you know Nocturne is now comprised of two wine ranges. The Single Vineyard or SV range and the Sub Regional or SR range. Our SV Sheaok Cabernet and SV Tassell Park chardonnay remain as ever awesomely epic expressions of the best sites in Margaret River. These wines are so mouth-wateringly good it will make your pants tight but alas they remain in tiny allocations….. The SR range well its very cool and getting cooler by the minute I think that this suite of wines on offer this year are our very best yet.
A side note for all you clever people who are sitting on some of last year's releases, the one and only James Halliday and the ever lovely and talented Erin Larkin awarded all of our releases between 97 and 95 Points……not bad to say the least. To quote Erin on the 97 point SV Cabernet “No wonder this sells out in a nanosecond. Ridiculous price for the quality. Supple, pristine and densely packed with sweet fruit from every angle, this is long and dark and layered and awesome”
The Chardonnay and Cabernet release this year
are from 2020 which was a weird grape growing year. Warmer than 2019 or 2017 which were cool but retains great elegance and class with beautifully expressive fruit characters and ripe tannins….. Being an essential industry, we just cracked through the first lockdown it was a weird time but these wines whilst unique are definitely not weird….
2021 Nocturne Sangiovese Nebbiolo Rosé
|Carbanup Sub Region $30|Magnum $60
2021, it rained a lot, it upset Julian a lot at the time! However, what’s not upsetting is how this wine has turned out. Light, fine and expressive but with phenolic crunch and freshness which is very grown-up. 74% Sangiovese is the hero of this wine backed up with 17%-barrel-fermented Nebbiolo and then we chucked in 9% Tempranillo too. Not sure why just had it and it worked and as in the past don’t tell anyone as it hasn’t made the label but it helped make the wine!
This wine is fine, ethereally light and delicious - so much so that you need to remind yourself it’s not just exceptionally tasty spring water.
The fruit comes from the sub-region of Carbunup in Margaret River, with the sites being relatively flat and warm with fertile, red sandy soils. The Sangiovese was harvested on the 7th of March and the Nebbiolo just behind it on the 11th – a couple of weeks earlier than the previous year. The Sangiovese fruit was simply destemmed, chilled and pressed using only the free-run fraction of the juice. It was then fermented at moderate temperatures using, as always, indigenous yeasts only. It was then matured on gross lees for three months post-fermentation to add additional texture. The Nebbiolo was hand-picked and, after chilling, the fruit was whole bunch pressed directly to old oak for fermentation. Fermentation took close to six weeks and the wine received a further 8 weeks’ maturation in barrel. At this stage, the final blend between Sangiovese and Nebbiolo was decided, and the wine was emptied from tank/barrel, settled, filtered, sulphured and bottled on the 1st of July.
This wine is, in keeping with the theme of SR3, is in a word epic. The texture and acid structure are impeccable but it’s all about extreme drinkability. Those who miss out on a Magnum of this, for their summer “A” list superyacht regattas will hold their vinous credentials cheap.…. It’s as always a pale salmon dream. xxx
– Alana & Julian Langworthy
2020 Nocturne Chardonnay | Treeton Sub Region $30
Treeton it’s a weird little area full of hillbillies, dairy cows and interestingly some great chardonnay vineyards…. Cold at night warm in the day with deep silver/grey sands that we think produce great chardonnay.
This wine is a combination of three awesome Treeton vineyards: the original and favourite Tassell Park, Grace & White and Victory Point
I know you’re all sick of hearing it, but it was again a very good vintage. Warmer than 2019 with a couple of rain events, there was some disease pressure but not too much and, as such, it all worked out pretty damn fine. The season was earlyish in terms of picking dates. But as always, these vineyards were some of the last picked on 5th and 12th of march, almost a month earlier than 2019.
The grapes were harvested by hand and whole bunch-pressed directly to new, one- and two-year-old puncheons, with a smattering of barriques for good measure. We did no settling or fining. This juice was then very carefully neglected and allowed to undergo spontaneous fermentation, which kicked off on day five after pressing. After a four-week ferment the wine remained on gross lees unsulphured until August of that year. In November it was emptied from barrel, settled, filtered and bottled.
This wine is, unsurprisingly, super cool. It’s pale green, redolent of white stone fruits and the suggestion of flint and funk. Expressive and quite generous in comparison to 2019 - but the texture and length of flavour are to die for. Chardonnay is what Jesus made when he turned water into wine, it’s also why we winemakers have a God complex. Epicness Unchained…..
-Alana & Julian Langworthy
2020 Nocturne Cabernet | Yallingup Sub Region $30
Yallingup is our stomping ground and where the world’s greatest Cabernet and Cabernet Blends are being grown! Its deliciously warm but never hot, with the amazing dual influence of the Indian Ocean and Geographe Bay. In this SR3 Cabernets’ we have used our own beloved Sheoak Cabernet and added some of our neighbour’s Merlot and Malbec from the Simpson property that we are lucky enough to share the amazing valley with.
In the winds of a global pandemic, sometimes shit still goes right. The 2020 vintage is in my opinion in Margaret River Cabernet a little mixed within my opinion some people rushing to pick vineyards somewhat early. In the Yallingup Hills, we enjoyed a lovely warm March, not too hot not too cold and importantly largely dry allowing the fruit to be picked at its zenith. We commenced picking Sheoak Cabernet on the 27th of March and from the moment the fruit hit the fermenter it looked destined to be a classic. Instantly perfumed and richly coloured the wine spent 14 days on skins with a peak fermentation temperature of around 28 degrees C. The wine was pressed to tank and settled briefly, before being transferred to a combination of new (25%) and two & three-year-old barrels to undergo malolactic fermentation. The wine was only racked once in this time and, after 14 months in oak, was emptied from barrel. At this juncture we decided on the final makeup which is 72% Cabernet Sauvignon 15 % Merlot and 13% Malbec. These wines were then settled together clarified and bottled.
Cabernet is King and long will it reign in our eyes. This is our favourite Nocturne Cabernets yet with epic drinkability yet huge complexity and verve. If Earnest Hemmingway was still alive he’d be pouring this in by the bucketful.
A Cassis-ladendre– Alana & Julian Langworthy
2020 Nocturne SV Cabernet Sauvignon
|Yallingup Sub Region $55
2020 as alluded to earlier, was a bit of a prick but in the Yallingup Hills at the lovely Sheoak Vineyard we kept it real , kept it clean, kept our distance from one and other and made it Epic.
We commenced picking Sheoak Cabernet on the 27th of March and from the moment the fruit hit the fermenter it looked destined to be a classic. Instantly perfumed and richly coloured the wine spent 14 days on skins with a peak fermentation temperature of around 28 degrees C. The wine was pressed to tank and settled briefly, before being transferred to a combination of new (25%) and two & three-year-old barrels to undergo malolactic fermentation. The wine was racked only once in this time and, after 18 months in oak, was emptied from barrel. 100% Cabernet from 100% this Epic site.
The Sheoak vineyard makes expressive, medium-bodied, silky structured wines. Dark fruit flavours and high notes of cassis and warm spice frame this slightly more brooding release of the Nocturne SV. While it’s amazingly accessible on release, this wine would love 3 to 6 years further maturation to really make this amazing wine shine. -
Alana & Julian Langworthy
2020 Nocturne SV Chardonnay | Treeton sub-region $55
This wine is awesome in every way which also makes it a little sad as we have next to none…… 2.6T was all that was picked and this resulted in two Puncheons and one Barrique of SV Chardonnay…… Even sadder there is bugger all ……. like none in 2021 due to a nasty rain event that made us cry. As such get amongst this opportunity in you can only 128 six-packs made.
The fruit as always is from a single site, the Tassel Park Vineyard in the Treeton sub-region of Margaret River. This tiny 0.37 Ha vineyard is unusual in that it's interplanted with both the classic WA Gin Gin clone and the Burgundian 277 clone. The Gin Gin affords great fruit weight and texture while the 277 has great acidity and mineral line. The vineyard faces south and is planted on deep silver-grey sands. The picking date is generally very late but this year was an exception due to the exceptionally low crops and the fruit was picked in the middle of the Chardonnay harvest.
The grapes were handpicked on the 9th of February; an entire month earlier than 2019 and whole bunch pressed directly to new, one- and two-year-old puncheons, with no settling or fining processes. This juice was then carefully monitored and spontaneous fermentation kicked off on day three after pressing. After a three-week ferment, the wine remained on gross lees unsulphured until September of that year. In December the wine was emptied from the barrel, settled, filtered and bottled.
It's a unique and spectacular site this one, making unique and spectacular white wines. We love this wine for all its flint, funk and Sea breeze dreams whilst being quite powerful and structured. Chewy and juicy with characters of grilled limes and hopes and dreams this is a chardonnay for people that have imagination and a perchance for being epic. – Alana & Julian Langworthy