Deja Vu Wine Co. welcomes Canobolas Wines
Published on: April 11, 2024

Canobolas Wines is the third oldest vineyard and one of the most significant producers of premium wine in the Orange region. This small patch of land is planted high on the slopes of Mount Canobolas, within the traditional lands of the Wiradjuri people.

The name Canobolas comes from the word ‘coona’, meaning shoulder and ‘booloo’ meaning two, which the Wiradjuri pronounced Gaanha-bula. It was an important occupation site used for the sourcing and sharing of food, and for corroborees and ceremonies particularly relating to men’s business. To the Wiradjuri people, Gaanha-bula is a place of spiritual connection through worship of Baiame (the Creator God and Sky Father) and through the dreaming story of Gaanha-bula as one of three feuding brothers.

The vineyard and winery were established by the Smith family in 1986. They chose the site after a lengthy search for an ideal combination of climate, soil and aspect to be able to create great wine. Sloping north to north-east, the vineyard rolls from 820m above sea level down to 775m at its lowest point, with rich soil and excellent air drainage. It is planted with mainly Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon.

In 2021, the Mattick family took ownership, and the introduction of regenerative farming and organic practices are central to their new winemaking philosophy. Jonathon Mattick has a long history of premium wine production in Victoria and Tasmania. After working across many vineyards, regions and states he wanted to focus more on a specific site. Orange has always been on the Mattick family radar for its climate, soils, altitude and winemaking potential. The region is enjoying a great period of growth which has led to an influx of winemakers, viticulturalists and vignerons. Once the Mattick family found the vineyard, it was an easy decision to move and take over the reins

The part of the mountain which Canobolas is situated on is the remnants of an extinct volcanic complex which erupted in several phases between 11-13 million years ago, making it a relatively recent geological feature. The basalt rock that was created by the lava flows has broken up over millions of years, forming the deep rich red soils that are excellent for grape growing and wine production. These soils are known as Red Ferrosols (Krasnozems), and are widely recognised and used because of their favourable physical properties. They have excellent structural stability, some clay, good water-holding capacity and high nutrient content.

In certain parts of the vineyard you would have to dig well over 2.5 metres deep before reaching anything beyond the beautiful red soil, at which point it becomes a mix of broken, free-draining basalt and rocky outcrops. This has allowed the 38 year old vines to grow unirrigated as they can send tap roots down deep into the earth.

The blocks have varying compositions. The top Chardonnay block comes from the deepest red soil, and the best Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc come from the stoniest part of the vineyard, where shards of basalt and small amounts of fine quartz fragments can be found nearer the surface. There is a gradual change across the vineyard slope, creating unique pockets of terroir. The parcels are kept separate during fermentation to tease out and discover the expression and diversity of soil within the site.

Utilizing wild ferments and intervening as little as possible, Jonathon Mattick allows the grapes to fully express themselves as they transmute into wine. The intention for each vintage is to create wines of power and grace that seek to impress on the grounds of their elegant composition. 

Vintage 2022

“After a cold start to the season, Orange delivered a textbook year. In my opinion it could be described as the perfect growing and ripening season. A wet winter and spring set the vineyard up beautifully with wonderful vegetative growth and full canopies laden with fruit. The retained soil moisture from spring meant the vines could thrive through the entire summer without rain.

The mildest of summers followed spring. With no days over 30 degrees and low nighttime temperatures it is considered a very cool vintage. However six weeks of glorious sunshine and very little rain from February through to mid march created the ideal temperatures for fruit ripening. Bountiful yields of Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, with vibrant natural acidity, extraordinary colour and flavour, confirm a very special vintage. The harvest period was a full month later than usual. Picking dates were timed around the bio-dynamic calendar. We were blessed with great weather and an easy harvest. Pick after pick came in with fruit in perfect condition, the Chardonnay first in, then the Pinot Noir – both fantastic. We picked our Cabernets in four batches over three weeks, each batch a little riper than the last. The resulting wines are layered with complexity and delicacy.

We expect great things from all varieties and look forward to them evolving over the coming decades.”

Jonathon Mattick Winemaker & Vigneron

2022 Chardonnay

“A discreet, harmonious nose that shows attractive albeit reserved creamy lees and lemon/citrus notes, while the oak is very subtle but effective, adding texture and nuance. The palate opens with bright and bracing acidity, the flavours tensioned and fresh, almost nervy, while the shape of the wine is linear and long, with great refinement, purity of fruit, energy and reserve that promises even more in future.”

96 points Huon Hooke – Real Review
96 points Decanter Magazine

Gold Medal – Orange Wine Show
Chairman’s Trophy Orange Wine Show
Silver Medal – Royal Sydney Wine Show
Silver Medal – Royal Melbourne Wine Show

2022 Cabernet Sauvignon

A poised and elegantly structured cabernet reflecting the vintage, with the powdery tannin and fine delicate florals. Bay leaf with an olive tapenade and dark chocolate combination. The palate has a smooth feel, with the chalky tannins working neatly through. It’s very tight now and needs cellaring time to achieve its potential.

95 points Steve Leszczynski – Qwinereviews
94 points Regan Drew – vinonotebook
93 points Mike Bennie – Winefront

2022 Cabernet Franc

Off 1986-planted vines. Natural ferment, no filter/fining. Organic farming in place with certification to come. “When we took over the place cabernet franc was the variety I knew the least about, but is definitely the one I find the most exciting. All of Murray’s (Smith) older cabernet franc ones are the ones that spoke to me the most”, says Jonathon Mattick.

“Silky textured, shy of medium weight, quite compact with its sheath of lacy tannin, bright in its cherry/cassis fruit characters, some good dashes of black pepper, sage leaf, liquorice in the mix. A shy wine but one with appeal in its understatement and sense of finesse. It feels like one for big glasses now, but should also cellar very well. Classy stuff.”

93 points Mike Bennie – Winefront

Gold Medal NSW Wine Awards
Trophy Best Red Varietal NSW Wine Awards

2022 Syrah

Very fragrant, violets drift over white pepper, crushed granite, brined black olives, red peppercorns and bay leaf. A dazzling display of spices and fruits with fine tannins contributing to a very good backbone and great length. A svelte, alluring and elegant expression of Syrah.

2022 ‘Alchemy’

“Some bandwidth here, concentration and richness but still that coolness comes into play. Dark cherry, cola, cassis, violet floral lift, raspberry liquorice and a strong currency of pepper and rosemary herbal characters. Firm tannins are a prominent feature, refreshing though and tightening the wine with some authority. Like all the Canobolas 2022 reds, a demure nature and understatement is the motif. Serious wine, regardless.”

94 points Mike Bennie – The Winefront

93 points Huon Hooke – Real Review

Déjà Vu Wine Co is an
independent Australian importer
and wholesaler of fine wine, sake,
whisky and gin.

For all portfolio enquiries please contact:
sales@dejavuwines.com.au
T: 1300 655 732
F: 1300 656 166

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