What's up at Victory Point

This newsletter is designed to keep you in touch with what's happening at Victory Point, give some background on the Berson family, and to foreshadow our 2006 releases.

Firstly, we have a small amount of the 2003 Victory Point Cabernet Sauvignon still available. This is a blend of cabernet sauvignon (62%), malbec and cabernet franc (33%) and petit verdot (5%). Legally, it's labelled Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec Cabernet Franc Petit Verdot - because it has more than 15% of those grapes in the blend - but that is more of a mouthful than any wine should be. In 2003, the malbec and cabernet franc were co-fermented. However, these grape varieties have been kept separate in subsequent vintages - giving us greater freedom to influence the percentages of each variety in the blend.

The Bersons became fascinated by malbec during their time in Cahors (south west of Sarlat and north of Toulouse in France's South-West). Malbec is the dominant grape of Cahors and makes powerful yet elegant reds in this region. Malbec grows particularly well on the Victory Point vineyard - its natural vigour restrained by rigorous pruning - and so the wine achieves fabulous concentration of flavour.

2003 Victory Point Cabernet
Sauvignon Malbec Cabernet
Franc Pedit Verdot $30

Our first release is drinking beautifully at present. It has concentrated red cherry, raspberry, mulberry and blackcurrant flavours, is medium bodied, smoothly textured with fine ripe tannins on a gentle approachable finish. This is an elegant, fine Margaret River red that can be drunk now or cellared for up to five years. Bottled under screwcap so it will taste just as the winemaker intended.

In very strong classes, the wine has scored bronze medals in each show it has entered - the Qantas Mount Barker Show and the (national) Small Winemakers Show - suggesting that we are on the right track. Importantly, the wine is being well received by the restaurant trade - and has proved particularly popular when it is served by the glass.

Our first white wine will be released in February - the 2005 Victory Point Chardonnay will be available in tiny quantities. There will be 50 dozen lots and 100 six packs for sale. Most Western Australian chardonnays are made from the Mendoza (or Gingin) clone. Our wine will be a 50:50 blend of the mendoza and the Bernard clones. The latter are new clones from Dijon in Burgundy that have been imported by Bill and Dan Pannell of Picardy.

The 2004 Victory Point Cabernet Sauvignon will be released in April or May 2006.

Check our website for the list of retail outlets and restaurants which sell or serve Victory Point wines.

The Berson Family

Gary and Judith Berson were born and raised in Perth, and discovered Margaret River in their teens. It's been an important part of their life since. As Gary says 'We haven't been able to get it out of our blood.' Their children, Sophie (14), Claudia (11), and Charlie (9) were with them when the first vines were planted and have shared the experience of Victory Point since. They still love going down to Margaret River - to the beaches and the vineyard.

The Bersons first visited France in 1988 and loved the countryside and the way of life, especially the attitude of the French to family, food and wine. As a result, they - and the children (sometimes) - have been going there regularly ever since. The first trip meant paying homage to the Loire Valley and the Dordogne and since then they have spent time in Bordeaux, Bergerac, Monbazillac, Cahors, Burgundy, the Rhone Valley and the Bandol. Gary's Lotto dream is dividing the family's year between Margaret River and France - as long as they can have a month to go fishing up North. Since starting Victory Point, this dream has become increasingly unlikely.

Melbourne comes to Victory Point

Six staff members from Perth's Melbourne Hotel came to Margaret River for an overnight stay. By all accounts they thoroughly enjoyed being shown over the Victory Point vineyard by viticulturist, Bill Darnell.

Of course, we're always happy to show off the vineyard to interested winelovers.

An exotic red

Gary was working on an assignment for a Western Australian mining company in the Congo recently and so some bottles of Victory Point Cabernet made their way to the back blocks of Africa.

A contact from that assignment took delivery of some Victory Point in Singapore and carried it with him to Inner Mongolia where he shared it with a French friend. The comments that came back from Mongolia were instructive. The Frenchman felt that the Victory Point was bigger than the wines he was used to. However, he loved the mouthfeel and commented that he'd love to see the wine with a little more bottle age. The market in Inner Mongolia for Margaret River's finest does appear somewhat limited but it's a delight to have an unusual tale to tell.

Those of you who know of the huge interest in fishing that Gary and the kids have will not be surprised to learn that significant quantities of Victory Point Cabernet have been shared on the islands of Rottnest, the Abrolhos (off Geraldton) and the Mackerels (off Onslow). We are expecting that it will be consumed on many other islands before too long - by friends, colleagues, customers and by us. Let us know of any exotic islands - or even remote and unusual surroundings - on which or in which you drink a Victory Point wine. We'd love to tell our newsletter subscribers.

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