Trapeze Wines / Yea/Yarra Valleys

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Many will be familiar with Brian Conway, founder of the seemingly ubiquitous Barossa label Izway.  Prior to Izway’s founding in 2004, Bri made wine between his home base in Western Australia, also covering vintages in Sonoma County, Alsace and Beaujolais at Château Bluizard where he met future Izway business partner Craig Isobel.

During time at Izway, Bri started playing around with Victorian fruit under a new label Trapeze, a hobby project of sorts.  Eventually settling in Coburg in Melbourne’s north, the pressures of travel and family saw him sell his share in Izway in 2018.  Missing the production side, he has kicked Trapeze to his main focus, and with significant efforts to source top grade fruit and polish packaging and presentation, this reimagined project offers some serious and compelling wines.

Yarra Valley delivers the core of things here, principally the Six J’s vineyard in Steel’s Creek, plus a tiny batch of Pinot Gris sourced from Diamond Crreek.  The Murrindindi vineyard in Yea Valley provides the Chardonnay.

Brian chuckles when asked of the philosophy of Trapeze, stating a love of wine grown in valleys.  He becomes more serious in outlining being drawn to the underdog; the 6Js vineyard boasts some of the oldest Gamay plantings in Australia, though he could see the site’s full potential wasn’t being realised due to high cropping.  Working closely with the grower to reduce yields, it’s safe to say this revised regimen is paying dividends.  Likewise of the Murrindindi site – Yea Valley isn’t officially a wine GI, but the quartz-rich soils (pictured) raise a Chardonnay easily in the league of many benchmarks.

The stable sees the aptly titled Early Pinot Noir and Early Gamay as young releases ready for immediate drinking and enjoyment, though these pack a few more layers than typical nouveau releases, with the Chardonnay and Gamay sitting as higher level expressions.  An opportune find of Pinot Gris makes its debut for these releases too, though at 30 dozen made to say it’s limited is an understatement.

A long-time friend, we’re stoked to be working with Brian and this project, and can safely say this is a high quality stable meriting serious attention.

 

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  • Trapeze Yarra Valley Pinot Gris 2023

    $ 37.00 incl. GST

    From the Hickory Downs vineyard in Diamond Creek on the edge of the Yarra Valley.  Raised in stainless steel with four months on lees.  No malolactic fermentation with texture built through lees stirring.

    Brian’s time at Paul Blanck in Alsace provides a sufficient CV to have a crack at this grape – a beautifully formed wine, as varietal as Gris comes.  Thick aromatically but far more poised in the mouth, broadly proportioned though with fantastic definition.  Aromas and flavours of pears, bitter melon, unripe pineapple, white peach, apple skin, a shake of cinnamon, all less overt than many other Gris.  The flavours are attractive for sure, but it’s defined by its texture and feel.  Fantastic phenolic and mineral grip and fine acid to close which will tidy up any dish.

  • Trapeze Early Pinot Noir 2023

    $ 43.00 incl. GST

    Grown in the 6Js vineyard, Steel’s Creek Yarra Valley.  Fully destemmed, raised entirely in stainless, vegan fined and lightly filtered, bottled 17th August.

    Super light ruby in colour.  Heady perfume of strawberry, raspberries, thyme and jamon.  Light and delicious to drink, cranberry and raspberry over fine lacy tannins and just a little graphite minerality to give it a more serious edge.  A lovely acid line, incredibly pretty and treads well between freshness and persistence.  Alluring.

  • Trapeze Early Gamay 2023

    $ 44.00 incl. GST

    Also from the 6Js vineyard.  Destemmed and a three day cold soak.  Again, raised in stainless, vegan fined and lightly filtered, bottled 15th August.

    Vibrant garnet in the glass and so clearly Gamay.  Lovely perfume of raspberry, cola, cranberry, anise, dried herbs and hints of jamon/prosciutto, primary but fantastic complexity.  The palate shows these characters plus a little dried cinnamon, raspberries, and a nice interplay of red liquorice and a savoury chacuterie lick.  Fine acid and fantastic length, and suits a chill on a sunny day.

  • Trapeze Yea Valley Chardonnay 2022

    $ 49.00 incl. GST

    Grown in the Murrindindi vineyard from 1998 plantings.  Hand picked, barrel fermented and raised in a mix of new (25%) and seasoned French hogsheads with 50% malolactic fermentation.

    An electric style of Chardonnay – aromas of grapefruit and lemon, just-ripe white nectarine, almond flowers, roasted almond and a wet stone minerality.  The palate shows all of these qualities, with its shape and mouthfeel its defining quality – a linear drive with fabulous concentration.  Mouthwatering, fine and long and getting better still with further time in bottle.

  • Trapeze Yarra Valley Gamay 2022

    $ 55.00 incl. GST

    Whole bunches are put into open fermenters, dry iced and locked up for four day carbonic maceration.  Fruit is then fully destemmed to fruit bins, foot stomped and then back into open fermenter.  Plunged gently over six days then sent to seasoned hogsheads for 11 months before bottling.

    Red/garnet in the glass.  Throws aromatics of fresh picked raspberries, cherry, ripe strawberry, fresh aniseed, cured meats/jamon savoury lift and dried thyme and oregano from the whole bunch.  An energetic and great feeling palate, the carbonic gives just enough lift without pushing things too far to primary simplicity.  Layered flavours of raspberry, jamon, cherry and cola, with more dried herbs and a slight kalamata olive savoury note.  Nuanced tannins and amazing length, cleaning up beautifully on the finish with a great acid line.  Sure, premium pricing for an Oz Gamay but holds its own against any comparable benchmark from either hemisphere.