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The Islander Estate Vineyards

News & Reviews

We love sharing our wines and our favourite parts of our beautiful Kangaroo Island.  Our blog shares our team's favourite ways to get the most from your visit when you're exploring Kangaroo Island.  And of course we like to share the latest news and wine reviews with you too!

Cath Williams
 
29 March 2022 | Cath Williams

Our Favourite Easter Food and Wine Pairings


No matter what's on your Easter menu we have a wine to match, from the traditional to the unexpected.

Sauvignon Blanc and Prawns

Our Sauvignon Blanc is pale straw in colour, on the nose there's passionfruit, lime zest, citrus & sea spray.  On the palate, it's delicate & aromatic with a light herbalness, ripe citrus & tropical fruits.  Rounded off with just enough acidity to finish elegant, and crisp to complement the sweetness of prawns and barbequed flavours.

Pinot Gris and Fish

For lots of Australians, Good Friday night is fish and chips on the beach. Fried fish dishes love the natural acidity of .white wines like Pinot Gris.  Fesh and flavourful with zesty acidity and beautiful texture. On the nose, it's floral and discreet with hints of lychee and rose petal. On the palate, it’s fresh with flavours in the pear-zone and a touch of texture. On the finish, it's all classic Pinot Gris zippy acidity

Chardonnay and Roast Chicken

In a contemporary Australian style, made to demonstrate Chardonnay's elegant varietal character. The White has slightly toasty with flavours of peach, nectarine, melon and toasted nuts. The fruit sweetness is offset by steely, refreshing acidity and a long finish.  It has just the right amount of texture to match a moist roast chicken.

Wally White Semillon and Pork Belly

Our signature white, Wally White is 100% Semillon. Rich and textural from barrel fermentation with mouth-filling notes of lemon curd and vanilla custard creaminess, bound together by mouth-watering natural acidity.  This is one of our most phenomenal wine and food pairings, making the perfect foil to the richness of roast pork.

Boxing Bay and Roast Lamb

The richness and texture of roast lamb needs the deep, intense colour rich fruit flavour and firm tannin structure of Cab Sauv and Shiraz. Boxing Bay is classic Aussie blend, but like all the wines from our Estate range, our takes its inspiration firmly from Europe. Power and structure abound in the Cab Sauv, the Shiraz adds softness and elegance.  A European approach in winemaking brings these two together with elegance and restraint. 

Old Rowley and Chocolate

Our Cotes du Rhone style Shiraz/Grenache blend undergoes whole bunch carbonic maceration to develop a deliciously ripe palate with dark cherry, black fruits, spicy mocha, gernache violets and confection.  The fruit character and balanced tannins match beautifully with bitter dark chocolate.

The Red Shiraz and BBQ

When you're firing up the BBQ, you want a wine that goes with everything from sausages to vegetables. The Red 2021 is all elegant cool-climate Shiraz. On the nose there's notes of pepper, eucalyptus, toasted vanilla.  On the palate it's seriously tasty with flavours in the mulberry and red fruit spectrum, a hint of charry oak and slightly gamey notes working beautifully with the fleshy fruit.  It has a generous round mouthfeel leading to a lingering finish. 

Bark Hut Road and Cheese

Ready to try a wine match that's a little more unconventional?  Bark Hut Road is an elegant Bordeaux-style blend of Shiraz & Cabernet Franc.  Offering firm tannins, natural acidity, beautiful blackberry and sarsaparilla notes at the darker end of the fruit spectrum with Oak notes – vanilla and coconut.  It's a phenomenal match to soft and goat's cheese, charcuterie and grilled vegetables.

Try our Autumn favourites pack

Try our Autumn Wine Selection dozen, all our Easter wines at phenomenal value

Time Posted: 29/03/2022 at 9:00 AM Permalink to Our Favourite Easter Food and Wine Pairings Permalink
Yale Norris
 
15 February 2022 | Yale Norris

The Islander Estate Vineyards wines rated by USA Wine Enthusiast

As part of Wine Australia’s US Market Entry Program, a range of our wines were recently reviewed by the Wine Enthusiast’s rating panel.  Wines from around the world are tasted by the Wine Enthusiast’s expert tasting panel at their New York Office.

The tasting gives us the opportunity to test how our wines are received by USA wine experts, alongside some of the best from Australia & Europe.

We were really pleased to receive solid results.  Our Estate wines were placed in the Highly recommended category, with one of scoring 93 points, a score awarded to less than 1% of all Australian wines tasted by the panel.  Our everyday drinking varietal wines also scored in the good value, well-recommended category, exactly where we would place them.  Check out the reviews & order a selection for your wine cellar.

Wine Enthusiast Rating Scale

Classic  98–100    The pinnacle of quality
Superb 94–97    A great achievement
Excellent 90-93    Highly recommended
Very Good 87 - 89   Often good value, well recommended
Good 83 - 86 Suitable for everyday consumption; often good value
Acceptable 80-82 Can be employed in casual situations

              

Wine Enthusiast rating of Islander Estate Boxing Bay Shiraz Cab Sauv 93 points2018 Boxing Bay Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon

Dark purple at the core, this supremely ripe wine’s nose bursts in aromas of cassis, oodles of menthol, Black Mission fig and Morello cherry. All at once sweet in fruit and savory in spice, this is a vibrant and slightly baroque wine in aromas and flavors. In structure, it is well-proportioned and seamless, leaving the taster to revel in the complex flavor dimensions. Creamy tannins are juxtaposed by roaring, refreshing acidity. The spicy finish recalls memories of walking through Istanbul’s Spice Market. Buckle up, this is quite a flavor ride. Drink now–2026.


Wine Enthusiast rating of Islander Estate Bark Hut Road Shiraz Cabernet Franc 91 points2019 Bark Hut Rd Syrah-Cabernet Franc

This is an energetic, engaging wine with tremendous aromatic appeal and racy palate lift. The nose shows distinctly different aromas with black peppercorn popping up first, followed by a refreshing herbal lift.  The palate gorges on popping-ripe blackberry and blueberry fruits. The tannins are strapping but well-placed and the acidity is marked and vibrant. The medium-plus body is nicely weighty with solid extraction but no heaviness. Lovely now, this should evolve nicely in the coming years. Drink now–2025.


Wine Enthusiast rating of Islander Estate Old Rowley Shiraz Grenache 90 points2019 Old Rowley Shiraz-Grenache

Sultry on the nose, with graphite and game dominating the blackberry undertones, the palate follows in the same vein. This is definitely one to decant. The palate opens up with time in the glass. Black plums, Dr. Pepper soda and dried wildflowers create a whirlwind of flavor with a solid caramel tone on the medium finish. That finish is also just a touch warm, but if the wine is served at cellar temperature, it will be fine with a hearty meal. The midpalate is a bit cherubesque, but it is nicely framed by sassy acidity and sculpted tannins. Drink now–2024.


Wine Enthusiast rating of Islander Estate Sauvignon Blanc 89 points2021 Sauvignon Blanc

This is a snappy, youthful and delightfully intricate white. It shows classic Sauvignon Blanc aromatic markers of ripe yellow citrus and fresh green beans while offering a solidly ripe core balanced by roaring acidity. Hints of sweet and savory spice grace the pretty fruit on the medium finish, which is flecked with crushed slate. Lovely now, this should hold nicely in the bottle for a couple more years. Drink now–2024


Wine Enthusiast rating of Islander Estate The White Chardonnay 88 points2020 The White Chardonnay

 This wine is rambunctious and inviting on the nose. Generous in floral perfume, it also reveals honeydew melon, green gauge plum and toasty baking spice. Nicely rounded on the midweight palate, the buttery undertones are a bit domineering for the reserved, lighter fruit flavors that finish with moderate length.  Still, the pleasant mix of tropical fruit and sweet spice influence is an attractive profile that will appease a wide sphere of consumers. Drink now–2024.


Wine Enthusiast rating of Islander Estate The Red Shiraz 88 points

2021 The Red Shiraz

This wine’s vivid aromas are a dance party for the nose. Sassy red and black cherries and plums pop out of the glass along with a spray of black peppercorns and an undercurrent of hard-stemmed herbs. The attack is a burst of perfectly ripened fruits with acidic verve and streamlined tannins. Nicely extracted but not unctuous, and neither cloying nor heavy, this shimmies across the palate with incredibly energetic, youthful fruit. Given the fairly fast finish, this crowd-pleaser is perfect for casual settings. Drink now–2024

 

Shop a selection of Wine Enthusiast's favourites 

 

Time Posted: 15/02/2022 at 9:00 AM Permalink to The Islander Estate Vineyards wines rated by USA Wine Enthusiast Permalink
Cath Williams
 
14 February 2022 | Cath Williams

A year in our Kangaroo Island vineyard - Summer

A year in our Kangaroo Island Vineyard

Our annual vintage may last just a few weeks, but it takes an entire year of hard work to ensure we are harvesting the best possible grapes.
Come with us for a guide to a year in our vineyard – one season at a time.

 

The Summer wine growing season on Kangaroo Island

Spring may be when the vineyard bursts from dormancy back to life, but Summer is when things begin to get exciting, giving us a glimpse towards the potential of the next vintage.

Summer is the season that can make or break vintage.  The climate on Kangaroo Island in early summer can still be variable.  Optimum conditions for a good vintage are warm, dry days with mild winds.  Excessive rain, wine or humidity can all spell disaster.

Fruit set at the Islander Estate VineyardFruit Set (Dec)

As flowering begins to end, the fertilised flowers start to develop a seed and grape berry to protect the seed.  This stage is critical as it determines the potential crop yield. 

Now is the time we begin to get a good idea of bunch development and quality on the vine with an insight into how vintage may shape up if the weather remains at optimum conditions. 

At this stage of the growing season when we pray for warm sunny days, moderate frost-free nights, gentle breezes and little or no rain.
 

Veraison at The Islander Estate VineyardsVéraison (January)

During January, the tiny bunches of grapes go through a rapid period of growth.  Once they reach around half their final size, they enter the stage of véraison, usually around 40 – 50 days after fruit set.  However, the grapes remain hard, have very little sugar &  are high in organic acids.

Throughout véraison the berries begin to ripen, turning from green and begin to turn purple, red and golden.  This tipping point is when the vine begins to turn its energy away from vine growth concentrating on developing sweetness in the grapes.If necessary, leaf thinning is undertaken to allow the grapes more access to light & increase airflow to minimise disease risk.


Berry Ripening (February)

Netting at The Islander Estate Vineyards Kangaroo Island

After véraison the grapes swell & fill with water.  During this ripening period, sugar levels rise & acid levels drop.  Colour pigments, flavour compounds & tannins develop.  Watering stops to induce mild water stress, inhibit shoot growth & encourage concentrated character in the ripening grapes.

A close eye is kept on the vineyard & when flocks of marauding birds arrive, nets are installed across the vineyard to protect the crop.  Once nets are on, vintage is only a matter of weeks away.

Many regions begin vintage in February, however in the cooler conditions on Kangaroo Island, wine vintage traditionally begins a few weeks after other South Australian regions, often in March.

 

We look forward to continuing to share the journey towards Vintage 2022
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Time Posted: 14/02/2022 at 9:00 AM Permalink to A year in our Kangaroo Island vineyard - Summer Permalink
Yale Norris
 
9 January 2022 | Yale Norris

Life Springs: 2 years on from the Kangaroo Island bushfires

Two years ago this week, the unimaginable happened to a community already reeling from the worst bushfire disaster Kangaroo Island had ever known.

A lot has happened in the world since January 2020. But for many on Kangaroo Island, recovery is still very real & will be for a long time to come.

Today, we take a look back at how far we've come with some images from immediately after the fire & today. It's only with the benefit of hindsight that we can see what an incredible journey it has been. What Mother Nature takes away, she gives back.

Huge credit to Yale Norris who has lived this disaster every single day, who believed we could recover & put in the immense work to help it happen. And to Jacques Lurton who is so committed to his business here.

Our vineyard is recovering in stages, full production is still a year or two away but come March we will be picking fruit - a major milestone.

Our gratitude to our many customers who have kept us in business & recovering with their support. You each have a hand in our recovery.

If you have a moment this week, jump online & purchase from a small business impacted by fire in your area. The world may have moved on, but they are still dealing with the impact & your support means the world.

Bring on Vintage 2022!

Images of The Islander Estate Vineyards after bushfire and two years later
Aerial view of our Estate immediately after January 2020 fires & today.

Images of Islander Estate Cabernet Franc regrowthCabernet Franc vines January 2020 & January 2022

Images of bushvine Grenache regrowth at The Islander Estate VineyardsBush vine Grenache January 2020 & January 2022 at The Islander Estate vineyards

Regrowth of native bushland on the estate of The Islander Estate vineyards

Regrowth of the remnant native bush which overs almost 30 percent of our estate

Explore Our Wines Now

Time Posted: 09/01/2022 at 9:00 AM Permalink to Life Springs:  2 years on from the Kangaroo Island bushfires Permalink