BOYDELL'S is a new brand on the boutique scene, but it comes from land steeped in Hunter wine history at one of region's most idyllic locations on the banks of the Allyn River at East Gresford.
The people behind the brand are Daniel and Jane Maroulis, who in late 2016 bought the 85-hectare former Camyr Allyn cattle grazing and 4.8-hectare vineyard property of John and Judy Evers.
In taking over the land, the couple had their first vintage in 2017, introduced a fine herd of 100 black angus cattle and launched a tourist 'glamping' experience in a luxurious safari tent imported from Africa.
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Because John and Judy Evers retained the Camyr Allyn trademark, Dan and Jane adopted Boydell's as the brand name for the wines from their seven-hectares of shiraz, pinot noir, merlot, verdelho and chardonnay.
It's an appropriate name because the property dates back to 1826 when Charles Boydell took up a government grant and went into dairying, wheat, corn and tobacco crops and sheep and cattle raising.
Boydell called the estate Camyr Allyn after his home in Wales and planted wine grapes in 1833 and built a stone winery and cellars, the ruins of which are still to be seen.
It was part of a rich tapestry of wine in the Gresford area, with vines planted along the Paterson and Allyn rivers in the early 1830s.
Gresford was where Dr H.J. Lindeman founded the once-great Lindeman wine empire, but in the 1900s the centre of gravity shifted to Pokolbin. Winegrowing at Gresford petered out and finally ceased by 1911 - only to be revived in 1998 as the Evers family put in vines where Boydell had his vineyard.
Dan Maroulis, now 39, was born and raised in Bourke, where his parents had an agricultural supplies and produce store, and he launched into a busy farming and grazing career at Narromine and Dubbo after graduating with an agricultural business degree from the University of New England.
Jane's family is from Morpeth and she, Dan and daughters Winnie, 9, twins Maggie and Tina, 7, and 18-months-old Josephine, love the transition to East Gresford.
Dan is passionate about producing consistently honest and "bloody good" wine by adhering to hands-on, small-scale winegrowing in close liaison with Boydell's contract winemaker Liz Silkman. Dan and Jane proudly declare "We love wine, we love to make it and we love to drink it."
The wines are on boydells.com.au, as are the glam safari tent bookings. A cellar door will open soon in Morpeth.
DEFTLY HONED CHARDY
LIZ Silkman's deft touch with chardonnay shows in this Boydell's 2018 Single-Vineyard Chardonnay. The wine is green-tinted straw and has melon and oatmeal aromas and ripe white peach front-palate flavour. The middle palate shows pear, lemon curd, mineral and almond-edged oak and the finish has flinty acid. Get it at boydells.com.au.
- PRICE: $26.
- DRINK WITH: seafood pie.
- AGEING: four years.
- RATING: 4.5 stars
FROM Dan and Jane Maroulis's first-press merlot grapes, the Boydell's 2018 Estate Vintage Rosé has 13.5% alcohol, pale salmon pink hues and rose petal scents. The front palate shows zingy strawberry flavour and the middle palate introduces pomegranate, musk and flint characters and slatey acid refreshes at the finish.
- PRICE: $24.
- DRINK WITH: linguine with tuna and tomato.
- AGEING: drink now.
- RATING: 4 stars
SMOOTH, easy-drinking characters abound in the Boydell's 2018 Reserve Shiraz-Pinot Noir. With 12.8% alcohol, it is ruby red and displays potpourri scents and vibrant cassis flavour on the front palate. Raspberry, Turkish delight, spice and mocha oak meld on the middle palate and the finish has minty tannins.
- PRICE: $35.
- DRINK WITH: roast duck with plum and Cointreau sauce.
- AGEING: 10 years.
- RATING: 4.5 stars
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