Chambers Rosewood wines recognised as gems, again

Stephen Chambers with some “rare gems” Picture: MATTHEW SMITHWICK
Stephen Chambers with some “rare gems” Picture: MATTHEW SMITHWICK

TWO fortified wines from the historic Chambers Rosewood Winery at Rutherglen have gained more national and international recognition.

The family winery’s rare muscat and muscadelle have long been top performers in the eyes of leading judges.

Sixth generation wine- maker Stephen Chambers said he was delighted the wines had been recognised in Langton’s Classification of Australian Wines VI.

Both were listed as “outstanding” among the new wines added to the listing.

That follows the American Wine Spectator Insider magazine awarding the wines 98 and 95 points out of 100.

In addition, the magazine described several of Chambers fortifieds as “towering expressions of rare gems”.

Mr Chambers said the Wine Spectator rating made it clear Chambers was maintaining consistency with the wines.

But he said the Langtons classification was a surprise.

“Before this year, they hadn’t classified many fortifieds, due to their non-vintage nature,” he said.

“The argument behind that was because they are non-vintage, you really can’t put a year to it, which is the whole point of the classification.

“But what they’ve found is if they look over a long period with all their data then come up with the view that these wines are consistent.”

Mr Chambers said that meant the wine’s quality was the same, regardless of whether it was bought this year or five years ago.

“It reaffirms that the traditions, the standards are there,” he said.

But Mr Chambers said it also showed the changeover from his father, leading wine- maker and judge Bill Chambers, in recent years had gone smoothly.

“It’s only been in the past six or so years that Bill is not doing the blending work,” he said.

“He still comes in and we’re bouncing ideas off him.

“But now we have a bit confidence about the blending.

“It shows there’s been a seamless changeover — people haven’t noticed any changes in those lines.”

Mr Chambers said the best way for people to obtain bottles of the rare muscat and rare muscadelle was by asking at the cellar door.

“One of the reasons why we’ve been able to maintain the quality is that at varying times, they might be unavailable,” he said.

“That’s because we’re trying to maintain that quality standard.”

The wines are available now, but only for a couple more months.

“Sometimes you get away with selling it after six months, but at others you’ve got to wait two years before the blend comes together,” he said.

“We try not to offend people, but we have always made it clear we want to maintain quality so people’s children can come back in 20 years for a wine of a similar quality.”