The Key Report – 2016 Albarino in australian Margan Family Wines
The Key Report – 2016 Albarino in australian Margan Family Wines. This year Andrew and Lisa Margan are celebrating the 20th anniversary of their Margan Family Wines venture and with it the launch of a new brand that highlights their pioneering of new grape varieties.
The range is appropriately called Breaking Ground and the four inaugural releases are a 2016 albarino, a 2014 barbera, a 2014 shiraz-mourvedre and a 2014 tempranillo-graciano-shiraz. They can be bought at the 1238 Milbrodale Rd, Broke, cellar door, on margan.com.au and in some wine stores.
Albarino, pronounced al-bah-rin-yo, is a classic Spanish classic white grape and the $30 Breaking Ground wine comes from the Hunter Valley’s first planting made by Andrew in 2014.
The variety had a troubled introduction to Australia when about 70 producers planted 150 hectares of what they thought was albarino propagated from vines imported in 1989 by the CSIRO from the Spanish National Grapevine Collection.
Subsequent DNA testing showed the vines were the savagnin variety and the producers had to stop labelling the wines albarino and substitute savagnin.
Andrew Margan made certain the vines he planted were genuine albarino from certified cuttings sourced from Spain and subjected to five years’ quarantine in the Yalumba plant nursery. He says the Hunter and Spain’s prime albarino areas both have warm maritime climates that produce textural wines with low alcohol, high fruit characters and high acid. Although the 2016 Hunter vintage was a difficult one for whites, the thick-skinned, loose-hanging albarino produced perfect fruit from its first Hunter harvest.
Shiraz-mourvedre and barbera are wine styles that have brought the Margans great success under the flagbearer White Label tag and the Breaking Ground 2014Shiraz-Mourvedre and 2014 Tempranillo-Graciano-Shiraz shone in last year’s Hunter Valley Wine Show.
The shiraz-mourvedre won the Innovative Red Wine Trophy while the tempranillo-graciano-shiraz was awarded the Silver Bullet Trophy by the 2015 show’s international guest judge, UK wine expert Sarah Ahmed.
The blend of the Spanish-origin tempranillo and graciano with shiraz comes from vines planted together. Graciano is rare in Australia and the Margan planting was made seven years ago, using cuttings from the Canberra district Mount Majura vineyard of Frank van de Loo.
Andrew Margan has been a trail-blazer for the Italian barbera variety, establishing the first Hunter plantings in 1998, using vine cuttings from the low-yielding Mudgee Montrose vineyard.