The cellar door entrance at Stonier

The cellar door entrance at Stonier

A few years ago I was at a winemakers dinner and ended up sitting next to a food writer.  Her command of language was impressive, but one thing she said made me chuckle.  In describing a particular meal she explained “It was as though the flavours had just met at a rather dull party and weren’t getting on very well together”.

That was how I felt about some Stonier’s wines the last time I tried them – that the oak was at one end of the bottle, the fruit at the other, and they really weren’t integrating at all.  Not so now – the wines I tried there recently were excellent.

Stonier cellar door - the walkway

Stonier cellar door – the walkway

Brian Stonier, an ex Managing Director of Penguin and Macmillan Books Australia, started planting the vineyards back in 1978.  At that stage there were very few vineyards on the Peninsula – he was one of the true pioneers in the area.  More significantly he built a very capable and successful team that included Geraldine McFaul (now Willow Creek) and Stuart Marshall.  Now something happened there a bit later on, but I can’t speculate about that.  Obviously a good business man, Brian was also able to get out and sold the business to Lion Nathan in around 2002.

Stonier tank room

Stonier tank room

Now the wines – fabulous Chardonnays – the 2011 Reserve Chardonnay is a beauty.  Fruit, creamy malo and some oak – loved it.  I preferred it to the Halcyon Vineyard Chardonnay which is more acidic – it has no malolactic fermentation.

We’ve moved on to the 2012 Pinots which is a relief.  To be fair Stonier’s 2011 wasn’t bad considering the conditions, but the 2012 is great.  Very delicate with a hint of strawberry.  The 2010 Windmill Pinot Noir is a superb wine.

But the star could be the Stonier Sparkling, an 85% Chardonnay, 15% Pinot Noir blend.

After all that the one I would recommend is the 2011 Reserve Chardonnay.

Stonier tasting bench

Stonier tasting bench

So another great Peninsula cellar door experience.  Beautiful wine, and apparently you even get a cheese platter.  It would be a great place to work through a cheese platter too – the outdoor area is very pleasant AND there is a lawn with a little children’s play area.

Wine in the Fine category.

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