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Thomas Wines: From Hunter with Love—The New Release ’23 Semillon and ’21 Shiraz

Thomas Wines: From Hunter with Love—The New Release ’23 Semillon and ’21 Shiraz

“Andrew Thomas is actually re-inventing Hunter Valley Semillon. He's developing more complexity, minerality and texture in his young wines without sacrificing any of the styled notes longevity...” Jeremy Oliver, On Australian Wine

“...these days clever winemakers, such as Andrew Thomas, are producing semillon that is so refined, soft, beautifully balanced and delicately fruity it is utterly delicious drinking within a few months of harvest.” Huon Hooke, Good Weekend Magazine

“Braemore Semillon is one of the iconic wines of the Hunter Valley. Although delicious in its youth, age reveals the true magic of the Braemore site. It is one of Australia’s best value ‘fine wines’ and an absolute bargain in the broader wine world.” Toni Patterson MW, Gourmet Traveller Wine

View the full available range from Thomas Wines here. 

Fresh off his third win of the prestigious Hunter Valley Winemaker of the Year 2023 Award, Andrew Thomas joined us in Sydney and Melbourne this week to celebrate his winery’s Silver Jubilee. Through the lens of his two flagship wines, Braemore Semillon and Kiss Shiraz, Thomas guided us through his Hunter Valley journey: a fascinating and delicious tale of site, soil and a winemaker’s passion for the place. It is a testament to Thommo’s standing in the industry that even James Halliday came to pay his respects. 

It’s been thirty-seven years since Thommo left McLaren Vale for the Hunter Valley and twenty-five years since he established his eponymous label. During this time, he has elevated his wines into the top tier of Hunter Valley Semillon and Shiraz. As he heads into his second lot of twenty-five—energised by son Dan joining his old man—the future look as bright as one of Thomas’ own young Semillon wines. As Halliday himself has noted, “The quality of the wines and the reputation of Andrew Thomas have never been higher.”

Hunter Valley Semillon in Thommo’s hands is a thing of beauty; unadorned, pure and unforced. His is a style of delicacy and sophistication, and while he acknowledges Hunter Valley is famed for its bottle-aged Semillons, he goes to great lengths to promote its appeal during its youth. This wine’s relatively moderate acidity (many Yarra Chardonnays can have higher TA), low pH’s, and approachable degrees contribute, not only to the potential longevity of the wine, but to its approachability and versatility. Thomas’ 2023s are a striking set of young whites, full of freshness and purity, ready and raring for the table or, if you prefer, the cellar. The current release of Thomas’ flagship white, Braemore Semillon from 2023, is a belter: precisely the kind of refined and complex wine that reminds us why Hunter Valley Semillon is such a world-renowned style. 

If Semillon is Thomas’ first love, Shiraz follows close behind. Or perhaps it is the other way around! This year, we are happy to offer a range of Thomas Wines reds from the excellent 2021 vintage, a year Thommo doesn’t hesitate to anoint as a knockout year for Hunter Shiraz. Looking at a vertical of the Kiss Shiraz (2001-2021), it became clear how Thomas’s style with Shiraz has evolved. The wines have become more restrained as the years have progressed, not least through a more measured use of new oak, more whole berries and gentler fermentations. The resulting wines are pure yet full-flavoured, made towards the fuller end of the medium-bodied spectrum—you can take the boy out of McLaren Vale! Significantly, they underline how underrated Hunter Shiraz is in some industry quarters.

A cracking set of wines from a Hunter Valley icon. 

The Wines

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