Lakes Folly tasting

Our wine group recently enjoyed a private and very enjoyable tasting of back-vintages at Lakes Folly in the Hunter Valley.  Our group provided most of the wines, while Lakes Folly provided the venue (their fermentation room), a few more recent vintages, and the expertise of assistant winemaker Peter Payard, who has been making wine at Lakes Folly for decades, as well as cellarhand Roger Paterson, who has also been with Lakes Folly for many years. It was great to taste these wines, see how the wines have evolved over time, and to discuss them with Peter and Roger who have so much experience and insight.

We started with the two current Chardonnays, the 2015 Lake’s Folly Chardonnay and 2015 Lake’s Folly Chardonnay Hill Block. The regular estate chardonnay was true to style, a nice but not too subtle chardonnay showing plenty of fruit and oak. The Hill Block for my tastes was a real step up in class and elegance, but also had greater length on the palate and interest. It had lovely acidity and minerality, and will undoubtedly blossom and shine over the coming years.

We then tasted the first set of red wines, all cabernet based blends starting with the older vintages 1972, 1988, 1989, 1993 Reserve. The ’88 and ’89 were the real highlights here. Beautifully aged cabernets with resolved palates, so easy to drink but serious wines too, and lots of aged maturity to the aromas and flavours.

The next flight - 1994 Reserve, 1996, 1997, 2005 – was a little mixed for my tastes, with the ’94 and ’96 both showing some excessive brettanomyces characters, but the ’05 was outstanding. Still young but so delicious and complex and dense, but with lovely acidity and freshness too. It was my favourite of the whole tasting and a great wine.

We moved onto more recent vintages – 2009, 2010, 2011 – and at this stage the youthfulness of these wines made them a little harder to enjoy, but you could see the clear potential in each of them, especially the ’11. At 5-to-7 years of age these were still very young.

Next up we tasted two wines, served side-by-side but without revealing which was which. It was the 2014 under cork and the 2014 under screwcap. If there was a difference between them it was miniscule, with the cork sealed wine being a touch softer; time will tell whether they develop differently. We also tasted the 2015, which was a remarkably light and floral wine compared to the other vintages. 2015 was a difficult vintage but this wine, although very different in style, was nonetheless very enjoyable.

We finished with an interesting and enjoyable 1963 Lake’s Folly Madeira; a bit of a curio but in good shape and very drinkable.

These sorts of tasting, especially with winemakers discussing the wines throughout, offer such a unique opportunity to understand a particular wine through its history, both the oral history and the liquid history.

This entry was posted in Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Hunter Valley. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.