Levantine Hill Estate is delighted to announce the launch of Optume, a very limited release of its most premium wine range yet. Optume showcases the very best Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz grapes of any particular vintage from the Yarra Valley Appellation.
The result is the inaugural release of two exceptionally rare wines – the 2017 Levantine Hill Optume Shiraz, which will have a very limited release of 65 dozen bottles, and the 2017 Levantine Hill Optume Cabernet Sauvignon, which will have an even more limited release of 58 dozen bottles. Optume was recently made available only to Levantine Hill Estate’s Inner Circle members and their Chairman’s List.
Both wines will retail for $800 a bottle, due not only to their rarity, but also the years of meticulous effort by Levantine Hill winemaker Paul Bridgeman to create a wine expressing the heart and soul of the Yarra Valley. The wines pull together hand-sorted grapes sourced from selected Yarra Valley sites. The combination of terroirs and climate allows for more nuanced flavours and complexity.
Apart from the bottles that have been imported from France, every element of the 2017 Levantine Hill Optume vintage has been handmade in Victoria, from the grapes themselves hand pressed in the barrels, to the locally-crafted presentation boxes which will carefully encase each bottle, complete with their own individually numbered key to preserve and secure the contents.
Levantine Hill Managing Director Samantha Jreissati says the release of the Optume label represents another important milestone in the company’s quest to produce Australia’s very best wines of uncompromising quality.
“This wine has been created to embody the sum of our people and the sum of our work. It is made from the best parcels of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz that we can find across the Yarra Valley from the 2017 vintage so it is a true celebration of our entire region,’’ she said.
“Optume was born following a chance discussion between Levantine Hill Estate’s founder Elias Jreissati and winemaker Paul Bridgeman, who had a meeting of minds about what sort of wine could be created in the Yarra Valley if no effort or expense was spared and other premium wine growers were given the opportunity to submit grapes for inclusion in it. Their shared vision is to create the optimum expression of a GI-specific, cool climate wine – hence the name- from each suitable vintage, without regard to location, effort or cost. We are very proud of the results.
“While the $800 price tag is expected to make Optume Victoria’s most expensive bottle of new release wine, Levantine Hill has proven that there is a strong market both locally and overseas for pure excellence in the quality and craftsmanship of these wines,” Ms Jreissati said.
The feedback from Inner Circle members and diners at Levantine Hill’s Yarra Valley cellar door and restaurant that have had the opportunity to sample Optume throughout the restricted release period, have overwhelmingly endorsed the wine.
Winemaker Paul Bridgeman says the creation of Optume has been a true labour of love, especially for someone who has spent time working in France’s Rhone Valley, and the majority of his career working in the Yarra Valley, where is also lives.
“The rarity of these wines is due to the pulling together of the particular strengths as well as expressions of a small number of select single site grapes around Levantine Hill and the broader Yarra Valley, expressly targeted for predicted contributions they will have towards the final blend,’’ he said.
“The bringing together of various strengths and personalities of these grapes we hope will result in finished wines which reach heights greater than the limitations of the individual components in isolation,’’ Paul said.
“In the end, the wine’s expression aims to be greater than the sum of all parts which conveys a synergy and seamless balance across the palate, reflecting broader vintage conditions across the multitude of targeted vineyard sites.’’
Levantine Hill Optume is available to purchase online at levantinehill.com.au, or in person at the Levantine Hill Cellar Door, Armadale Cellars in Melbourne and Moncur Cellars in Sydney, in very limited quantities.