This is the second Lark Hill wine we have sent to our members. Their cool climate vineyard was established in 1978, at 860m above sea level by Sue and Dave Carpenter in the Lake George area of Canberra.
The Exaltation is their flagship wine (named after the collective noun for larks) and only produced in the best vintages, where the fruit shows exceptional flavour, intensity and balance. This is one of only three vintages made (2003 / 2005 and the yet to be released 2009)
The wine is a blend of 4 grape varieties and pays homage to the Super Tuscan wines of Italy. A personal favourite of Chris, and also a wine style I love. These wines are a blend of traditional Italian and French grapes, made in a rich opulent “new world” style. It is rare to find this blend in Australia and even rarer to find a wine 8 years old that is still being sold by a winery. This is a real labour of love by the Carpenter family so I asked Chris for his thoughts so I could share them in our newsletter.
“Our Exaltation 2005 (and the previous & following vintages; 2003 & 2009) are inspired by the Super Tuscans of Italy. The 2005 is around 25% of each of Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon & Shiraz. The key to this wine is that we combine 4 very intense, ripe components and age the blended wine in larger, older oak barrels for 3 years before bottling. This maturation delivers great softening of the wine, and integrates the fruit characters well, but amazingly preserves the freshness of the wine (as we can check & top up the barrels as much as we need; usually around once a fortnight). The wine is then aged for a minimum 3 years in the bottle before release – and is released as a fully-mature, pre-cellared reserve.
We don’t like selling wines on faith; many wineries release ‘Reserve’ labels with a premise (or promise!) that the wine will be great in 5, 10 or 20 years. This is a wine released ready to drink; it can be cellared well for 5-10 more years, but there is no point; it’s done the majority of its maturation already.” Chris Carpenter- Winemaker/Director