Back in October 2019, when the world was a very different place, I was getting ready for work one morning and as you do was checking the morning emails on my phone. Just like any other day. For whatever reason one in particular stood out and made it through the morning ‘cull’. Thank God! Beautifully written by someone who’s name wasn’t immediately familiar to me, it had been sent to both myself and Virginia – which in itself was unusual in the best possible way. Pro tip: if you ever want to grab our attention address your correspondence to the ‘real’ boss as well! The email spoke of a real appreciation of the portfolio and how we go about communicating our love for our producers. Nice. Anyways, an hour later arriving at the office I thought I’d better find out who this Alecia Moore and her ‘Two Wolves’ winery were.
I don’t know if it was Dr Google or the office team who educated me the quickest but pretty much immediately the penny dropped. Wow, this could be exciting. I say could because – hand on heart – our thought process was, is and always will be that if the wines do not fit with our stable in terms of quality and philosophy, and/or if we can’t imagine having the people behind those wines at our kitchen table at home and getting on the Negronis with afterwards, then no dice… no matter who you are! Turns out we need not have worried….
What followed were a few emails back and forth, and then some phone-calls one of which one in particular sticks in my mind. Again, it was morning and this time I was on the run from Kyneton down to Melbourne and as Alecia and I started talking over the top of each other about great wines and winemakers – she’s a talker, you know – it was immediately clear that I was talking to Alecia the winemaker not P!nk the Rockstar and it’s been that way ever since. Make no mistake, Two Wolves is as serious a wine-growing operation as any in the CellarHand portfolio. Big call I know, but fact.
Samples were received and tasted by the full CellarHand team, and met with strong, unconditional approval. Plans were made. And then Covid hit. Our booked trip to the Santa Ynez valley in May 2020 to see the vineyard for ourselves kiboshed. 2021 arrived, hopes were high, many Zooms were attended, but plans dashed again. We all know the story.
Anyways here we are with a tiny allocation of the Two Wolves wines finally in our cellar. It’s really frigging exciting. CellarHand has never wanted to be the biggest – we just strive to be among the best. This I reckon is another piece of that puzzle.
Patrick Walsh, CellarHand
7th July 2022
44% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Cabernet Franc, 7% Syrah. This blend is an expression of several parts of our organically farmed vineyard, coming together in a way that makes the whole greater than the sum of its parts.
Each component for this blend was vinified individually, using a variety of techniques. The Merlot was destemmed and fermented in an open top tank, and Cab Sauv in a 600L rotary barrel and open top tank. The Cab Franc was placed in a cement tank, and the Syrah was fermented 100% whole cluster. All ferments were carried out by native yeast, and after pressing the wines were aged in French oak before being blended and bottled in the summer of 2020. Alcohol 14.6%.
The melody is Merlot, with harmonies from Cabernet Sauvignon, Cab Franc, and a bit of Syrah. Notes of plum, smoke, cola, Chinese 5-spice, orange, cedar, mushroom, and earth. Complex, balanced, with fine tannins. This is a very food-friendly wine, pairable with almost anything depending on your mood. – Alecia Moore
Two Wolves Vineyard: Block 10 (0.86 acre), north-south planted rows. Planted in 2010 to Clone 1058 on Rootstock 101-14. Soil: Positas fine sandy loam with clay.
The fruit was hand harvested and destemmed for native yeast fermentation in a stainless-steel tank. After three weeks on the skins, the wine was pressed to French oak (70% new) where it matured for 20 months until bottling.
Opens with blackberry, forest floor, and plum aromas. In the mouth the fine chalky tannin is complemented by plush fruit and dried herbs. – Alecia Moore
95% Cabernet Sauvignon; 3% Cabernet Franc; 2% Petit Verdot. The fruit is from Two Wolves and Right Left vineyards; soils of Chamise shaly loam and Positas fine sandy loam. The fruit was 100% destemmed and hand sorted. We fermented this lot in oak rotary fermenters, open-top oak barrels, and a stainless-steel closed top tank. The rotaries were spun 2-3 times a day and the other fermentations received daily punch downs. The wine spent an average of 30 days on skins before being gently pressed into 50% new French oak barrels for maturation.
Smells like sunshine after the rain. So much going on! Tension, beauty, flowers and spice. Green herbal notes of eucalyptus and sage, camphor, sweet vanilla cream wafers, lemon verbena. – Alecia Moore