Get to know one of our Yarra Valley sites, Isabella’s Vineyard, and the wines that make up the range.
It’s something that constantly comes up when we talk about extra-special wines: they speak of their place. Some call it terroir, others call it provenance; either way, when you drink a single vineyard wine, there’s a special something that goes with it.
Isabella’s Vineyard is one of our best vineyard sites and situated in the sub-region of Gruyere on the coveted Briarty Road contour. The site was purchased at the end of 2009 and named after Isabella, who is the daughter of Helmut, Rochford’s owner. Boasting some of the Yarra’s most famous vineyards as neighbours, Isabella’s gets plenty of sun and has the added benefit of being sheltered, meaning great concentration of flavour in the fruit. The steep slopes also provide great air-drainage, so the cool air can descend down the slopes to prevent the risk of frost.
The other special thing about this site is the vine maturity, with the vines here being over 30 years old. As vines age, they settle into their environment and the subsequent wines gain more and more complexity. The three varieties that are planted here are chardonnay, pinot noir, and cabernet sauvignon, so let’s take a closer look at this Single Vineyard Range.
Rochford Single Vineyard Isabella’s Chardonnay 2018
This chardonnay has a significant intensity to it, with the nose driven by lemon, grapefruit and a subtle chamomile character layered with struck match. Isabella’s Chardonnay is deeply flavoured and amongst the concentrated citrus, it is balanced by it’s minerality and superfine phenolics. The mid-term cellaring potential will reward the patient ones with development of the cashew-like creaminess and white nectarine characters starting to shine through.
Rochford Single Vineyard Isabella’s Pinot Noir 2019
This vintage is the very first iteration of Isabella’s Pinot Noir. This pinot is deep, broody and intensely aromatic. The darker red fruits of mulberry, cherry, and plum are complemented by warm baking spices and earthy tones. The tannins are almost talc-like, supporting the layered and complex flavours. This is definitely a pinot noir heading into the medium-bodied territory, but it still has a refreshing acidity that makes it infinitely appealing.
Rochford Single Vineyard Isabella’s Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
Isabella’s Cabernet Sauvignon is a wine that will last the distance in your collection. With mulberries, blackcurrants and plums driving the nose, it’s layered with a subtle herbal character and the sweet spice and fruit characters are supported by gravelly tannins. This cabernet really walks the line of savoury and fruit character with elegance, and with the secondary characters starting to peep through, we’re excited to see where this wine will be in the years to come.
There’s no doubt that the wines from this site are only going to get better as we understand the parcels and harness the very best from the vines. We want to make sure that our winemaking is simply used as a toolkit to show just what these sites can do.
Ready to take a deep dive into the range with our new Isabella’s Collection? You can find the mixed pack on the website, or come and taste them the next time you’re visiting our cellar door.