Q&A WITH TIM: PART TWO
Get to know our new Chief Winemaker in a two-part series of rapid fire questions, designed to delve a little deeper into Tim's background, passion and vision for Voyager Estate.
How does Cabernet from the Yarra Valley differ from Margaret River?
Cabernet from the Yarra Valley has fine and approachable tannins, even when young. The flavour profile is red fruits in cooler years, leaning toward blackcurrant and black olive in warmer years, and always with a light frame. By comparison, Margaret River Cabernet is intense and concentrated, with tannins to match. Finding the gentleness and harmony in all that strength will be a worthy task.
How does Chardonnay from the Yarra Valley differ from Margaret River?
Chardonnay from the Yarra Valley has a fine-boned structure and is reliant on the linearity of acid from the cooler climate. The flavours of Margaret River Chardonnay are more abundant, with the potential for great stature and longevity. Vive la difference, as they say!
Will your experience in the Yarra Valley inform your winemaking in Margaret River?
I am pondering that with the cooler sub-climate of Stevens Valley, there may be a little to be taken from both worlds to harness fruit power with a gentle line of savouriness.
The most incredible wine you've ever tasted?
The 1978 Domaine Dujac Clos de la Roche from Burgundy on my thirtieth birthday. The bottle was drawn from the iconic Dujac cellar – a typically generous act of the Seysses family. It completed the greatest day of my life. If my wife and kids are reading this…I’m sorry! I’ve had three children, but only one 1978 Grand Cru Burgundy!
Looking ahead, what are you most curious about?
The potential to push the envelope with avant-garde winemaking techniques applied to Voyager Estate’s high-calibre fruit.
How would you describe your winemaking philosophy?
I believe winemaking is more of a craft than an art, like jewellery or carpentry, because the beauty of the final product is limited to the quality of the raw materials. If there are artists at all in the wine, then the credit should go to the vines and the yeasts. The craft lies in respecting these core materials and understanding how to guide them on their way to bottle. If a winemaker ever tells you they’re an artist, then they’re a b******t artist!