In 2003, NSW-born James Kellie made a life-changing decision by purchasing Harewood Estate from local Denmark farmer Keith Graham. With wife Careena and five children on board he also took the plunge and built a winery on the property. He had arrived five years earlier to work as winemaker at Howard Park. The initial intention was to learn more of his trade from Howard Park’s John Wade and then move on to Tasmania. At the time, Howard Park was making wine under contract for many growers giving James the opportunity to appreciate and understand the various microclimates scattered around the Great Southern Wine Region. Making wine for Harewood, he was very well aware of the excellent cool-climate fruit coming off the Scotsdale Rd property.
The vineyards are a small part of the Harewood Estate farming property, which is located in the picturesque Scotsdale Valley, west of the Denmark township. Climate is maritime with significant cooling due to proximity to the south coast. The topography is undulating hills with lush green pastures most of the year. Majestic stands of 200-year-old Karris welcome the visitor at the property’s entrance. Soils are gravelly and the Denmark property is planted to Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling. The Great Southern is also represented at Harewood with Mt Barker, Frankland and the Porongurups sub-regions contributing Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Riesling. Quality fruit selection and winemaking is paramount. This property has an impressive wine show career perhaps best summed up by winning this year’s John Gladstone’s trophy for the “Best and Most Distinctive Regional Character” at the WA Qantas Wine Show.
2016 Denmark Riesling
Rieslings from Denmark are not commonly found. Stylistically they are delicate with fine refreshing acidity more akin to the Porongurups than to the more robust examples from Mt Barker. This 2016 made from free-run juice and tank fermented shows beautiful crisp aromas hinting of citrus and flowers. Fruit flavours on the palate are pristine and balanced without any phenolic hardness. Lovely drinking even now but will keep for years. Great value. (RRP $23)
2015 Denmark Chardonnay
Entirely estate grown, this is a restrained cool-climate chardonnay. Careful oak handling has allowed the whistle clean flavours of peach and grapefruit to emerge and blend with hints of spicy oak and vanilla. Well-balanced and attractive it needs about a year or two extra in the bottle to show its best. The reputation of Denmark-grown chardonnay is on the rise. (RRP $27.50)
The label states that this is a blend of Great Southern Cabernet. Matured for 18 months in French oak casks in the Bordeaux tradition, this wine is deep red with purple edges. Cassis, plum and berry flavours mixed skilfully with spice and vanillan make for an attractive presence in the mouth. A full-bodied wine showing good balance with fine tannins and a persistent aftertaste. This can take 5-10 years bottle age. (RRP $21)
2015 F Block Pinot Noir
This wine comes from estate-grown fruit from a north-facing gravelly slope. Three different clones of Pinot make up the blend (115,114,777). This wine has the sought after ‘sour cherry’ character seen in good pinot noir. It has a fragrant aroma and is medium-to-light bodied. Good fruit concentration and acidity. Subtle spicy background with good persistence. Very well made and lovely drinking at present. (RRP $27.50)
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