Tasting notes: Delatite Winery (Vic) 2013 »

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David Ritchie of Delatite Wines

David Ritchie of Delatite Wines

Delatite Vineyards - Pinot vines, overlooking the south contour
Delatite Wines - view over south block number 28
Delatite Wines vineyards
The Delatite Wines range


Delatite is a small family winery in the Victorian High Country, perched on a picturesque rise looking across the vineyards to Mt Buller, that specialises in in cool climate wines including outstanding white aromatics, especially the riesling.

The winery started following biodynamic philosophies in 2001 and the resulting improvement to the land is reflected in the quality of the wine. James Halliday agrees and awarded Delatite five red stars in his Australian Wine Companion 2014 for the sixth year in a row.

Here's a taste of the Delatite's delicious wines:


2012 Riesling Late Harvest

The growing season of 2012 was a great relief coming off the back of the tricky (but great for riesling) 2011 season with good early rains and relatively dry conditions through ripening. The fruit for this wine was left on the vine for an additional week and a half than the normal riesling during which time it developed some noble rot before being hand picked.

The fruit was placed in the press and then left for six hours so that the juice could soak up the additional sugar from the raisined berries. It was then pressed off and settled. The juice underwent a wild fermentation in stainless steel before receiving a light filtration and then bottling.

This sweeter style of riesling has aromas of apricots and blossom. The palate has lime flavours with a slight marmalade character from the noble rot. The wine is sweet but finishes off lovely and dry with a firm acid backbone and a little spritz.

Food: enjoy with desert and cheeses but don’t be afraid to match this wine with main courses that have a sweeter fleshed meat such as pork belly or duck.

Cellaring: all rieslings are delightful in their youth but sweet rieslings especially age wonderfully and this wine can be cellared with confidence for fifteen years or more.

Alc/vol: 10%

RRP: A$25.00 bottle

Received 94 points in the 2014 Edition of the James Halliday Australian Wine Companion. “…to be enjoyed anytime, anywhere, with (almost) every food style, none better than Asian.”


2012 Gewurztraminer Deadman’s Hill

Again, the growing season of 2012 was a great relief coming off the back of the tricky 2011 season with good early rains and relatively dry conditions through ripening. The gewurztraminer was picked by hand through the middle weeks of March.

They whole bunch pressed the fruit to avoid any colour from the pink skins of the berries and then let the juice briefly settle for a few days. 10% of the juice was then racked to large oak vessels to give the wine a little extra complexity with the remaining juice staying in stainless steel.

All of this wine under went wild fermentation with our indigenous yeast, after which the wine was kept on its yeast lees and stirred every two weeks to extract additional complexity from the lees. The wine was then blended and prepared for bottling with minimal filtration.

The aromas of this Gewurz burst out of the glass with rose petals and turkish delight. The palate is similarly floral with some roundness balanced with a lovely dry acid finish that leaves the drinker with a long musk finish.

Food:  wonderful with most charcuterie and any strong aromatic dish such as Thai (or even a fiery Southern Indian curry if you’re up to it!).

Cellaring: enjoy now or age for up to ten years allowing the wine to develop more toasty flavours.


RRP: A$25.00 bottle

Received 96 points James Halliday – "for long regarded as one of the best Gewurztraminers in Australia, but this takes things a littler further."


2012 Reserve Chardonnay

The 2012 season saw good early rains and relatively dry conditions through ripening which allowed the chardonnay to be picked quite early and in great condition.

The fruit was hand picked in early March and was then whole bunch pressed. A small section of the main block was chosen for barrel fermentation and was put to a mix of French (60%) and American (40%) oak barrels. Only new barrels were used and the juice was allowed to undergo a wild fermentation.

After fermentation the wine was stirred once a month on its yeast lees to extract more yeast character and was put through malolactic fermentation to give the tight fruit character more body and depth.

This reserve wine was matured for ten months in barrel and then blended and bottled without the use of any fining agents.

With a pale straw colour with some green tints this wine has a delightful nose of vanilla from the oak and brioche from the extended lees contact. The palate has intense lemon and grapefruit characters which are rounded out with sweet dough flavours and lovely but not overstated oak notes. The finish is long and strong with lemon coming through again on the back palate.

Food: enjoy it with fatty white meat dishes such as pork or duck.

Cellaring:  this wine has the structure and acidity to age very well for fifteen years or more.

Alc/vol: 12%

RRP: A$39.00 bottle

 2009 Devils River Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Malbec

The ripening season of 2009 was warm and dry, perfect for this classic Bordeaux blend. The fruit was picked in early to mid April and crushed to static fermenters for the Malbec and open fermenters for the Merlot and Cabernet. It was then allowed to undergo a wild ferment.

The separate varieties were then pressed off and matured individually in a combination of French and American barrels. The wine was matured for 24 months in barrel and then blended for bottling.

No cultured yeast, filtration, fining or added tannins were used in this wine keeping with their natural biodynamic principles of winemaking. As such this wine comes to you as a natural expression of the vineyard and soil.

This classic blend has wonderful deep hues of red and purple with a nose of ripe fruit and spices. The palate shows juicy red and black fruit characters primarily of blackberry with a firm tannin structure from the Malbec.

Food: this blend will match well with roast lamb or beef.

Cellaring: will age for at least fifteen years.

Alc/vol: 13.5%

RRP: A$30.00 bottle

 RJ Reserve Shiraz  2010

The RJ Shiraz is named for Robert John Ritchie who planted the vines at Delatite. It is only made in the best years and from the best wine of that season.

The 2010 growing season was a wonderful one for reds. Starting out warm and dry they were worried about having enough water to get through the year but with some great summer rains and warm even ripening they were rewarded with some near perfect fruit.

Shiraz was picked in early April and crushed to open fermenters. The must was cold soaked for eight days and was then allowed to warm and start fermenting with its own wild yeasts. The ferment was hand plunged and pumped over three times a day.

After fermentation was completed the wine was pressed and matured in a mix of new French and American oak barrels for 24 months. No fining agents were used and this wine was bottled without filtration.

The RJ is deeply coloured with aromas of blackberry and peppery spices. The palate is intense with tart cassis cracked pepper and spicy oak flavours. The tannins are mouth filling and the wine has a long finish of berry and oak characters.

Food: enjoy with strong red meat dishes such as kangaroo steaks or beef carpaccio.

Cellaring: this is a wine made for aging so it can be cellared with confidence for twenty years.

Alc/vol: 13.5%

RRP: A$60.00 bottle

Rated 94 points in the 2014 edition of the James Halliday Australian Wine Companion  – “..main melody of red and black cherry fruit: the tannins and oak have been skillfully handled.”



  • Legends, Wine and High Country (NE Victoria) (VIC)

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