Winery Review – The Vintner’s Daughter by Brent Lello, Yass Valley Times Wine Columnist

Many wineries of the Yass Valley region espouse the virtues of our region that empower the production of top-class, cool climate wines.  This is overtly evident in the grape-to-glass journey of the wines at The Vintner’s Daughter.  With Steph at the winemaking helm and Ben truly at home in the vineyard with the big-boy toys, the husband-and-wife dynamic duo are weaving their magic winemaking wand to make wines that exhibit a true sense of place, purpose and time.

Steph and Ben took ownership of their vineyard in 2014 and with many years of experience in winemaking and vineyard management under their belts, immediately seized the opportunity that the 40+-year-old vineyard presented to them.  The vineyard is picture postcard perfect at present and the cellar door is a pleasure to visit.  I visited on a wet and wild Sunday recently, and the greeting from Ben was warm and welcoming. 

Stephanie & Benjamin are amongst the vines at their Murrumbateman winery Vintner’s Daughter. Photo Credit – Erin Dando

We chatted about the handwringing, teeth-gnashing conditions of seasons past and present, but despite all the adversity, wines of quality and distinction are on offer, for a compelling tasting experience.  There is also a couple of museum release drops to try as well, providing a looking-glass lens into how their wines will age with grace and elegance.  Here is what I tried:

Riesling 2022 – fragrant aromas of freshly squeezed lemon juice, lime zest and citrus blossom.  The palate is super crisp with crunchy green apple and citrus flavours with tongue-tingling acidity, leading to a lovely lingering finish.  Tempura prawns with lime aioli with this.

Unoaked chardonnay 2022 – as crisp as Chardonnay’s come.  Aromas of grapefruit, white peach and fresh-cut pear.  The flavours are full-throttle on the fruit with pear, peach and grapefruit flavours.  Just the trick with Chinese chilli chicken with cashews.

Semi-sweet Riesling 2022 – aromas of lemon juice and cumquats with mouth-filling flavours of lemon and lime cordial leading to a lovely line and length finish with just a hint of sweetness.  Thai green curry of prawns here.

Rose 2022 – an intriguing blend of Shiraz, Merlot and Sangiovese grapes.  The aromas are of red currant and raspberries.  The palate is deliciously crisp and dry with red cherry, raspberry and redcurrant fruit flavours.  Drink super-chilled with smoked salmon, capers and fresh goat curd.

Shiraz Viognier 2018 – aromas of deeply dark plum and ripe blackberry with a hint of fragrant violets and a shake of white pepper.  The flavours are luscious with ripe, dark plum, cherry and boysenberry, finishing with a hint of cool climate spice, silky tannins and a long, lingering finale.  Just the trick with chargrilled lamb cutlets with sea salt, rosemary, and garlic.

Shiraz 2015 – museum release of their very first vintage.  Aromas of ripe blackberry and dark cherry with a hint of charred earth.  The palate is loaded with mid-palate ripeness with flavours of blackberry jam, black plums and hints of freshly cracked pepper.  Slow braised beef cheeks with red wine, tomato and fennel bulb sauce.

Winemaker Stephanie Helm Photo credit Erin Dando-Stephanie

The Vintner’s Daughter is well worth the short trip down Crisp’s Lane in Murrumbateman.  The quality wine experience can be enjoyed in the comfort of the cosy cellar door, out on the veranda or on the lawn – all with views of the prime-looking vineyard.  And there’s more to look at as well including vintage farm equipment, metal artwork for sale, and a menagerie of animals in and around the vineyard including Babydoll sheep and resident emus.  Something for everyone.