WINTER EDITION – WHAT’S ON IN THE  HUNTER VALLEY

CHARDONNAY

We LOVE Chardonnay at Saddler’s Creek and it seems this beloved variety is making a resurgence in our glass, thanks to modern styles and the demand from consumers.

In the past 5 years at Saddler’s, we have gone from producing one Chardonnay to producing six different styles across our collections because of how much our Club Equus members love it too.

We adore Chardonnay for many reasons, for its seductive ability to evolve over time in the cellar and its amazing versatility to pair with food. Our Winemakers love crafting it because there are just so many ways to make a great Chardonnay. From the terroir influence, the type of oak used in maturation, Bâtonnage to malolactic fermentation. Chardonnay can be made into a diverse range of styles depending on these factors. 

From crisp and lean to rich and creamy there is a style to suit everyone these days.  So let’s explore these influences and the results they provide to the end wine.

Terroir

Chardonnay is grown in almost every wine region around the world, so expect the wine to show regional expressions based on where it’s grown.

Chardonnay from warmer climates like the Hunter Valley tends to be richer fuller flavoured and show more tropical fruit characteristics. While cool climates like Tasmania are leaner, lighter bodied with crisp acidity, showing bright citrus and mineral notes.

Winemaking

Once the grapes are in the winery there is a myriad of techniques Winemakers can use to craft the wine depending on the style they’re aiming to make.

When fermenting the juice, Winemakers consider which yeast strain to use which can influence different aromas and flavours. The wine can undergo fermentation and maturation in stainless tank or oak barrel or a mix of both.

The type of oak used for maturation and the time spent in the barrel will greatly influence how “oakey” a Chardonnay becomes.

French oak is commonly used in Australia, known for producing a more elegant style of wine due to the finer grain of the timber. While American oak barrels have a denser grain and can create a more robust flavour in the wine. French oak is also considerably more expensive, which is why cheaper Chardonnay has often been produced using oak chips which are essentially “tea bagged” in the wine rather than the wine in the oak. Typically Chardonnay will spend on average 6-9 months maturing in oak barrels before being bottled.

Oak barrels can be reused each vintage up to 10 years. However, with each use, the flavour it imparts becomes less pronounced. So Winemakers may choose to use a combination of new and seasoned oak barrels to balance the flavour of the wine. The newer the oak the stronger the oak flavour.

During maturation, the Winemakers will stir the lees (Bâtonnage) which are the expired yeast cells in the bottom of the barrel. It might not sound that delicious but this process is an important step of winemaking. If we want more structure and texture we will stir every couple of weeks, if we want a more fruit-forward wine, we stir less.

Chardonnay buzz words

Here are some “buzz terms” you may have seen on the back label of a Chardonnay and wondered what they mean for the taste of the wine.

Wild Yeast

Also known as Indigenous can produce a softer creamier wine

Bâtonnage 

Also known as lees stirring. The winemaker uses a long metal tool that is inserted through the bung hole of a wine barrel and is then used to softly stir the wine.

Unwooded Chardonnay

Produced in stainless steel tanks and without any time in oak barrels. The wine typically displays more green apple and citrus flavours.

Malolactic Fermentation

Also known as “malo”. This secondary fermentation process creates that buttery creamy flavour and complexity in the wine. 

Oak Maturation 

How long the wine spent in oak barrels, to impart flavour and complexity into the wine.

Saddler's Chardonnay

2022 Saddler’s Chardonnay

A multi-region blend of and Hunter Valley, NSW. and Langhorne Creek, SA.  The combination of cool climate and warmer climate fruit creates a wine that has lovely fresh natural acidity.

It has beautiful stone fruit flavours which are balanced with subtle oak flavours from 7 months maturation in new and seasoned French oak. The result is a refreshingly fruit driven white wine perfect for a midweek sip while cooking dinner.

Cheers to making memories, anywhere, every time!"

Spring is a time to embrace the outdoors, connect with friends and enjoy the longer warmer days. The Saddler’s Collection is made for pure enjoyment and good conversations….

So we have put together a Saddler’s Celebration Guide featuring our favourite recipes. Each Saddler’s wine has been paired with a Spring inspired vegetarian recipe, a wine cocktail recipe and a curated Spotify playlist.

Whether you’re having a long lunch with friends, a family gathering or a night in by yourself, use this guide to inspire the mood for every day celebrations.

The Saddler’s range has been crafted for pure enjoyment and good conversations…Whether it’s a BBQ with friends, date night at your favourite BYO restaurant or chats over the fence with the neighbours, the Saddler’s Collection are premium wines that will proudly impress. Truely a match for every occasion!

Cheers to making memories anywhere, anytime!

EVENTS

Spring Garden Tasting

Spring Garden Tasting

Sundays in September and October 

Looking for the perfect reason to gather your friends and celebrate the joyful things in life?

Enjoy a high tea-inspired garden party, surrounded by fellow food and wine enthusiasts. Set in our Instagramable Wine Garden overlooking the Saddler’s vineyard and Brokenback ranges. Explore our Saddler’s selection of white wines presented by our wine expert guides. Your Spring theme table will be presented with a delicious savoury mini degustation to complement your tasting.

Held every Sunday at 11am throughout September and October. So gather your friends and bask in the Spring sunshine for an unforgettable journey of flavours, friendship and fun.

Your menu has been curated by Saddler’s Eats award-winning Chef, Jonathan Heath to pair with our Saddler’s Collection featuring the best of Hunter Valley varietals.

Picnic in the Vines

Saturday 23rd September 

Experience true Hunter Valley hospitality at our annual event – Picnic in the Vines. 

Sip and savour and enjoy the beauty of Spring at our annual long table luncheon. Situated in our picturesque Wine Garden overlooking the Saddler’s vineyard and Brokenback ranges. Gather your loved ones and celebrate life’s simple pleasures… time spent with family and friends enjoying good food with great wine… 

Begin your day with a glass of sparkling or wine cocktail on arrival, your allocated seat at the long table ensures you can unwind and relax under the shady trees and enjoy live music by Anna Weatherup. Vibrant Spring themed tables will be presented with a delicious banquet lunch. Enjoy generous shared plates of picnic-inspired dishes prepared by Saddler’s Eats award-winning chef, Jonathan Heath and his team.

The Saddler’s Bar will be offering a selection of our wines by the glass and bottle, along with local craft beer and soft drinks. 

The Saddler’s range has been crafted for pure enjoyment and good conversations…Whether it’s a BBQ with friends, date night at your favourite BYO restaurant or chats over the fence with the neighbours, the Saddler’s Collection are premium wines that will proudly impress. Truely a match for every occasion!

Cheers to making memories anywhere, anytime!

2022 Saddler’s Semillon

Fresh, Crisp & Zesty

Vibrant, fresh and bright. Refined flavours of freshly zested lemon and lime with hints of crispy granny smith apple. The finish is clean, dry and utterly refreshing.

The Hunter Valley is renowned for crafting world class Semillon which has incredible aging potential.

If you’re looking for a delicious and refreshing wine to enjoy on a warm sunny day, this wine is sure to please.

Watch Tasting Note

Download recipe 

Access to Spotify playlist 

2022 Saddler’s Verdelho 

Aromatic, Tropical, Lively 

Fresh tropical fruit flavours burst out of the glass.
invigorating fruit salad of crisp Nashi pear, lively pineapple
and star fruit with a zesty dry finish.

The Verdelho grape originated from Portugal where it is
made into Madeira and was first bought to Australia in
1825 to make fortified wines. 
wine, perfect for picnics in the sunshine. 

Watch Tasting Note 

Download recipe 

Access to Spotify playlist 

2022 Saddler’s Chardonnay 

Vibrant, Fresh, Flavoursome 

Fresh natural acidity with beautiful stone fruit flavours are balanced with subtle oak flavour. It is a delicate and refreshing white wine.

The fruit for this Chardonnay is sourced from the premium maritime growing region of Langhorne Creek. The unique climate allows for slow and even ripening producing a fine, crisp style of wine. Gentle fermentation and battonage with maturation in a mix of new and seasoned French oak for 6 months.

Watch Tasting Note 

Download Recipe 

Access to Spotify playlist 

2022 Saddler’s Rosé

Fragrant Turkish delight and rose water aromas. Vibrant red berry flavours with hints of bittersweet orange. A lovely fruit driven wine with a refreshingly dry finish.

Produced from Shiraz and Merlot which give a balance of body and texture. Minimal skin contact, the colour is bright and the palate is clean and crisp. Bright, aromatic and fruit driven. A very easy-to-drink wine to enjoy over the warmer months.

Watch Tasting Note

Download recipe 

Access to Spotify playlist 

2023 Saddler’s Wild White 

Vibrant aromas of mandarin and passionfruit, it has
lively flavours of tropical fruit salad with a succulent
off dry finish.

Crafted from a blend of Semillon, Riesling, Arneis and
Fiano. Each grape contributes to the beautiful aromatics,
texture and flavour of the wine.

Watch Tasting Note

Download recipe 

Access to Spotify playlist 

NV Saddler’s Wild Pink 

Pretty aromas of fairy floss, lychee and rose. It’s light and lively with sweet wild strawberries, pink musk and a dash of sherbet fizz. Subtly sweet on the palate with a generous bead, the finish is crisp and refreshing.

Made from the Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains grape variety. The fruit was picked in the cool of the night to preserve fruit freshness and aromatics. Cool fermentation was stopped early to maintain the perfect balance between natural acid and grape sugar in the final blend.

Download recipe 

Access to Spotify playlist