92 pts, Robert Parker, Jr.’s, The Wine Advocate “These blends represent the newest bottled offerings from this Rutherglen producer, an area that produces spectacular fortifieds, especially the Muscats and Tokays (actually Muscadelle). Their freshness, good acidity, soaring aromatics, and unctuous flavors must be tasted to be believed. The real values are the less expensive cuvees generally produced from 5- to 6-year-old solera systems…The Victoria Tawny exhibits a medium garnet color in addition to sweet, unctuous strawberry and cherry fruit. It is a blend of four grapes, Carina, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, and Shiraz.”
92 pts James Suckling
This is a wonderful tawny with lavender, dried fruit, prune and orange peel. Full body, medium sweet and a flavorful finish. The Rutherglen character is here!
90 pts Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar Sept, 2011
Bright red with an amber rim. Candied raspberry, plum jam, redcurrant and roasted nuts on the nose, plus a kick of peppery spice. Densely packed and sweet, with spicy flavors of strawberry preserves, cherry and rose enlivened by tangy acidity. Finishes quite ripe and sweet, with velvety texture and a spicy nuance.
The grapes for this Tawny are harvested between 16-18 Baumé when raisining has just started to occur. Once harvested, the grapes are crushed and destemmed to tank. These vines yield roughly 2 tons/acre. The grapes are allowed to ferment on skins for 24 hours and are then fortified with a high quality grape brandy spirit. After being fortified on skins, the grapes are pressed, stabilized, racked then filtered. The wine then begins the maturation process. It is aged in oak vats and barrels which range in size from 25,000 liters to 125 liters. They use a modified solera system for all their fortified wines, that allows them to blend a complex of wines from bases of varying ages. The younger material adds freshness and lightness whereas the older material provides weight and depth of flavor. During the maturation process, which in this case ranges between 7 and 10 years, up to 8% of wine is lost per year through evaporation which further concentrates the sugars and flavors.
Aussie NV Tawnies are aged for 5-7 years and yet still marketed at affordable prices.