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Stella Bella
2 November 2018 | Stella Bella

Stella Bella Cleans up at Margaret River Wine Show

Clean Sweep for Stella Bella

Stella Bella Wines wrapped up a succession of wines shows awards from this year’s wine show season with yet another outstanding series of wins at last night’s Langton’s Margaret River Wine Show. Taking home a total of six trophies including Best Wine of Show, Best White Wine and Best Chardonnay of Show for the first ever vintage of the 2017 Suckfizzle Chardonnay in addition to the Best Cabernet Blend for the 2017 Stella Bella Cabernet Merlot. Topping it off Stella Bella was awarded Most Successful Exhibitor and Stella Bella Viticulturist Steve Martin was recognised for his excellence as Viticulturalist of the Year.

Stella Bella has been cleaning up awards over the past few weeks. The first ever vintage of Suckfizzle Chardonnay has had a rapid ascent into notoriety, gaining national recognition as the Best Chardonnay from Margaret River at the 2018 Langton’s James Halliday Chardonnay Challenge. The 2017 Stella Bella Shiraz took our Best Wine, Best Red Wine and Best Shiraz of Show at the Wine Show of Western Australia and finally the 2016 Suckfizzle Sauvignon Blanc Semillon was awarded the trophy for Best Sauvignon Blanc Blend on the 2018 Royal Melbourne Wine Awards.

In accepting the award at the Trophy Awards Dinner Chief Winemaker Luke Jolliffe said, “this is an absolutely outstanding effort and recognition of our team. We work tirelessly to create the best possible wines from our southern Margaret River vineyards. All of our vineyards are unqiue in their own right giving each wine its own individuality and personality. It is awesome to see our efforts acknowledged and awarded in our own backyard and on a national stage.”

Luke added “We have had an overwhelming response to the 2017 Suckfizzle Chardonnay, we have sold out completely at the cellar door. Our distributors around the country may still have some in reserve so it is probably available at a few select retails and venues. This wine has been a long time in the making. It is a single vineyard wine made from just three rows of Gin Gin clone Chardonnay in our most southern and unique vineyard. I have always believed in the power and potential of this fruit and have dreamt of creating a pure and powerful wine that expresses this site, showing its difference from the rest of the Margaret River region. In 2017 this dream came to life and I could not be prouder.”

When awarded Viticulturist of the Year Steve Martin said “Our vineyards are located throughout southern Margaret River. An area of the region we choose for its cool climate and ability to produce elegant, aromatic and medium bodied wines with personality and precision. Our farming practices aim to improve soils and maintain vine health. This gives us the ability to make subtle changes, responding to the season and surrounding environment. Growing fruit that reflects the climate, soil and character of southern Margaret River. It is great to see the importance and scope of viticulture recognised by this award. It’s sounds cliché but this is a totally a team effort.”

Time Posted: 02/11/2018 at 4:20 PM
Stella Bella
18 October 2018 | Stella Bella

Trophy for Best Sauvignon Blanc or Blend

Celebrations Run High for Stella Bella Fifth Trophy Win!

Last night’s prestigious Royal Melbourne Wine Show Awards saw Stella Bella awarded its fifth trophy in a matter of weeks. In yet another successful salute to Stella Bella’s Suckfizzle Sauvignon Blanc Semillon, this small batch 2016 vintage was awarded the Trophy for Best Sauvignon Blanc or Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc.

Stella Bella’s Chief Winemaker, Luke Jolliffe says “It is so rewarding to see our wines continue to receive outstanding recognition within Australia and the world stage. Margaret River is a diverse growing region and we are determined to craft the best wines from our southern Margaret River vineyards, full of personality and precision. This is especially reflected in our Suckfizzle wines which perfectly represent their unique sense of place, plus have the ability to live and improve in the bottle.”

This trophy highlights the sheer quality and distinctiveness of this unique single-vineyard wine after the 2015 vintage was named the Best Semillon Sauvignon Blend with 97 points at the 2019 Halliday Wine Companion Awards in August. In addition to its highly acclaimed international recognition of a Platinum Medal and 97 Points at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards in May this year.

Stella Bella is having one of its most successful years on record, continuing its height of recognition in some of the country’s best wine competitions. The first ever vintage of the Suckfizzle Chardonnay won the Margaret River Regional Trophy for the Best Chardonnay in the 2018 Langton’s James Halliday Chardonnay Challenge, scoring a total 96 out of 100 points.  The 2017 Stella Bella Shiraz dominated the 2018 Wine Show of Western Australia, winning three trophies for the Best Wine of Show, Best Red Wine of Show and Best Shiraz of Show.

Stella Bella was also honoured to receive a Gold Medal for the 2017 Stella Bella Shiraz at the Royal Melbourne Wine Awards. A Gold Medal for the 2017 Luminosa Chardonnay at the Wine Show of Western Australia. These results represent an unprecedented achievement with the credit going to Stella Bella’s talented and dedicated winemaking and viticultural teams.

Time Posted: 18/10/2018 at 4:30 PM
Stella Bella
11 October 2018 | Stella Bella

Best Chardonnay From Margaret River

Pure, powerful and unparalleled Chardonnay that says ‘kiss my arse’…

Introducing the first ever vintage of Suckfizzle Chardonnay. A smallbatch wine made from just three rows of Gin Gin clone Chardonnay planted in 1998 from the most southern and unique vineyard in the Margaret River region.

Judged the Best Chardonnay from Margaret River in the 7th annual Langton's James Halliday Chardonnay Challenge. The 2018 competition involved 544 entries judged blind in regional categories. From this record amount of entries, 28 Gold Medals were awarded.

The Making…
With a load of character and flavour, this incredible fruit was hand-picked, whole bunch pressed with solids and wild fermented into French oak barriques for 10 months with minimal battonage. Unfined and unfiltered to show the raw power of this vineyard.
The Wine…
The prevailing winds which come directly from Antartica and the moderation of the site by the Hardy Inlet create distinction and character in this wine. Salty, sea-sprayed fruit contributes to a unique and complex oyster shell character. White nectarine, grapefruit pith, lime rind and smoky oak round out the generous nose. Incredible power of fruit. Textured and mouthwatering, there is obvious chemistry between the fruit and the oak. Flavours of crushed lime, lemon and sea salt. Lively mineral acidity and layered texture. 

Time Posted: 11/10/2018 at 6:33 PM
Stella Bella
10 October 2018 | Stella Bella

2017 Stella Bella Shiraz - Best Wine of Show

Hat-trick for Stella Bella Shiraz.

Stella Bella Wines shone at the 2018 Wine Show of Western Australia taking out three trophies for their 2017 Stella Bella Shiraz. Best Wine of Show, Best Red Wine of Show and Best Shiraz of Show.

The Wine Show of Western Australia was established in 1978 and is the state’s premier wine show, which exclusively judges the best Western Australian wines. Held annually in Mount Barker the 2018 show was the biggest competition with 834 entries from 115 producers.

In accepting the award at the Trophy Awards Lunch Chief Winemaker Luke Jolliffe said, “we are honoured to take out the prestigious Singapore Airlines Trophy for the Best Wine of Show and to gain so much recognition for this wine”.  

Luke added “Our Southern Margaret River vineyards have a distinct and unique personality and combined with an unusually cool vintage we produced a wine of incredible quality with intense aromas of raspberry coulis, mulberry, plums and a subtle white pepper spice. Its supple and silky and makes you want another glass.”

Viticulturist Steve Martin commented on the recognition of the Stella Bella Shiraz “the past few years this award has gone to wines made out of the Great Southern. Our vineyards get the best of both worlds, with the cool day time temperatures similar to the Great Southern Wine Region and moderate night time temperatures thanks to the maritime climate of Margaret River. 2017 was a particularly cool year resulting in a longer cooler ripening period with the fruit retaining higher natural acidity while ensuring tannin ripeness in the seeds and skins.”

Also highlighting the exceptional quality of Stella Bella’s southern Margaret River vineyards the 2017 Luminosa Chardonnay celebrated a gold medal. According to Chief Judge Samantha Connew this was a very competitive category of world-class Chardonnay producers from Western Australia. 

Time Posted: 10/10/2018 at 4:20 PM
Stella Bella
4 October 2018 | Stella Bella

The Real Review - Suckfizzle

Suckfizzle - A name and a story with a sense of fun and serious substance. A range of wines that are iconic, unique and unmistakably - Suckfizzle.

Huon Hooke delved into the deep south to give you some insight into our single-vineyard wines and our newest release… the first ever 97 point 2017 Suckfizzle Chardonnay. Read on...

S T E L L A R   S U C K F I Z Z L E - by Huon Hooke

‘Rabelaisian’ is an adjective that means raucous, ribald, bawdy, even debauched. It probably owes as much of its inspiration to Rabelais’s character the Great Lord Suckfizzle as to the writer himself.

Merriam-Webster says Rabelaisian describes someone or something that is “marked by gross robust humour, extravagance of caricature, or bold naturalism”.

Suckfizzle, a sub-brand of Margaret River winery Stella Bella, is pretty tame in comparison. Perhaps it all depends on how you use the product.

Suckfizzle has for some time been a flagship brand of Stella Bella; what was less understood is that it’s always been a single-vineyard wine. Moreover, that vineyard is located at Augusta, which is as far south in the Margaret River region as you can get without floating off towards Antarctica. The vineyard is actually in the Augusta township.

Winemaker Luke Jolliffe explains that it’s much cooler down there than in northern and central Margaret River. Indeed, there’s a four to five-degree difference in maximum January temperatures between Augusta and Wilyabrup.

“The maximums are lower but the minimums are higher, because of the mass of water in the Blackwood River estuary,” he says. “It’s two degrees warmer at night.”

The vineyard was planted in 1988 and Stella Bella has a long-term lease on the property. The first Suckfizzle vintage was 2008.

Suckfizzle has consistently produced a sauvignon blanc semillon blend (the 2015 is about to be released at AUD $40), and an occasional cabernet sauvignon, but this year for the first time there’s a Suckfizzle Chardonnay: the 2017 will be released on November 1st at AUD $62, priced just below the flagship Stella Bella Luminosa Chardonnay (the 2017 will be AUD $65 when released in early October).

The Suckfizzle Chardonnay is a beautiful wine, with a certain salty, sea-brine character in addition to its cashew and citrus notes. Luke Jolliffe describes this character as ‘estuarine’ and believes the salty sea air influences the bouquet of the Suckfizzle wines.

This strikes a chord: in the Wallcliffe area, cabernet sauvignon often displays a peaty, iodine-like note which evokes descriptors such as seaweed and nori. Indian Ocean terroir?

Back to Augusta. Jolliffe says the Suckfizzle soil is quite different from anything else in Margaret River: it’s alluvial soil over lateritic bedrock – an old river delta.

Jolliffe also sees this saltiness in the 2015 Suckfizzle Sauvignon Blanc Semillon, although the strident varietal characters of these grapes undoubtedly dominate the wine. It has a guava, tropical note as well as cumquat and orange citrus notes, embellished by a little flinty, smoky sulfide. Happily, the oak influence is lower than in previous vintages.

As a kind of footnote, because they are from the company’s Isca vineyard in Margaret River proper, Stella Bella’s two new Luminosa wines are exceptional. The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon(AUD $90) is beautifully balanced, delivering power with great elegance, and the 2017 Chardonnay (AUD $65) is classic Gingin-clone Margaret River: concentrated grapefruit, cashew and almond meal.

All Luminosa wines are from the Isca vineyard, which is on Gnarawary Road, opposite Leeuwin Estate – another outstanding terroir.

Time Posted: 04/10/2018 at 4:20 PM
Stella Bella
2 August 2018 | Stella Bella

Best Semillon Sauvignon Blend in Australia

2015 Suckfizzle Sauvignon Semillon

The Suckfizzle story began in 1997 with the first vintage of a single vineyard Graves style wine modelled on Domaine de Chevalier from Bordeaux. Today it is a wine with a long and prestigious history that has ultimately been recognised as the Best Semillon Sauvignon Blend in Australia.

Best Semillon Sauvignon Blend + 97 Points – 2019 Halliday Wine Companion

Platinum Medal + 97 Points - 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards

The New Suckfizzle - As the wine style has evolved, so has the brand and story. The idea behind the new artwork and branding for Suckfizzle was to create two elements that visually tell the story behind the Suckfizzle wines. The first element is based on the existing ‘Suckfizzle Foot with Wings’ that has proudly carried the flag as the hero of the Suckfizzle label design. The second element is the artwork. A painted landscape representing Cape Leeuwin and the spectacular coastline that surrounds the Suckfizzle vineyard. When combined, the two elements complete the story and reflect the unique nature and history of the Suckfizzle brand. - Artist: Dan Tomkins

Time Posted: 02/08/2018 at 2:52 PM
Stella Bella
2 August 2018 | Stella Bella

Halliday 2019 + Best Sauvignon Blanc Blend

Every year, James Halliday and his tasting panel pinpoint the best Australian wines, winemakers and wineries from a pool of several thousand. Out of the 1216 Australian wineries profiled for the 2019 Halliday Wine Companion 232 wineries (8.2%) received a Five Red Star Rating.

We are thrilled to reveal that once again we sit amongst the best Margaret River wineries with our 12th consecutive Five Red Star Rating, confirming our consistent record for quality and excellence.

In looking at these points, remember these are some of the best of 9289 wines tasted for the 2019 edition.

2015 Suckfizzle Sauvignon Blanc Semillon | 97 Points

** Best Semillon Sauvignon Blanc Blend**

Always a regional tour de force, this has high quality Graves written all over it; not merely fermented in French oak (60% new), but aged as well (40% new) for 14 months, with incremental batonnage to amplify the compelling textural detail. A citrus choir with the focus on lemon: lemon grass, lemon curd and ripe Meyer, all soaring along a balancing beam of vanilla cream oak. This is world class, transcending the general malaise when it comes to these oft-abused varieties.

2016 Luminosa Chardonnay | 95 Points

A surprisingly subtle chardonnay for the region, with fermentation in oak followed by settling in tank. Stone fruit hints, wild yeast pungency and crisp mineral energy. A swather of vanillan oak, barley detectable. The beauty her is in the detail, venosity and compelling length.

2017 Stella Bella Sauvignon Blanc | 95 Points

Man alive, the bouquet is positively humming with a potent cocktail of all things tropical, led by passionfruit, guava, gooseberry and pineapple, and which translates to the opening stanza of the palate before a veil of lime, orange and mandarin citrus comes over the top to calm things down.

2017 Stella Bella Semillon Sauvignon Blanc | 95 Points

This has it all, the X-factor in high relief. The cradle of multifaceted tropical fruits and the bundle of herbs, grass and citrus are perfectly balanced and surge on the finish and aftertaste without any congestion. Lovely now, different - but still lovely - in 5+ years. Great value.

2015 Stella Bella Cabernet Sauvignon | 94 Points

This is benchmark proprietary cabernet. Mid to full weighted, it exudes regional pastille and olive DNA, melded effortlessly to currant, plum and bay leaf notes. The tannins are palpable, albeit massaged to the gentler side in the name of mid-tern ageability and savour.

2017 Skuttlebutt Sauvignon Blanc Semillon | 94 Points

Has it both ways: tropical fruits of all kinds headed by sauvignon blanc’s passionfruit on the bouquet, palate and finish, semillon’s firmer hand on the tiller throughout the journey providing shape and textur e. Great value, of course.

2015 Suckfizzle Cabernet Sauvignon | 93 Points

Ripe, plush and a bit bolshie of oak and assertive, edgy tannins around the seams, this is a premium cabernet in every sense aside from its position just outside of the top tier across an extensive range. The 18 months in French oak and patience should smooth its edginesss. Meanwhile, enjoy flavours of bitter chocolate, currant and bay leaf.

2016 Stella Bella Shiraz | 92 Points

While cabernet is the recognised postcode, some shiraz still stand out in the region. This is one of them. Violet, purple fruits and anise are scuttled across the mouth by pins of peppery acidity. The tannins are a meer waft, providing a platform across which the fruit flows effortlessly. There are no unwelcome hints of reduction that plague so many in the region.

2016 Stella Bella Cabernet Merlot | 92 Points

Exemplary proprietary wine, firmly stamped with regional DNA: a groomed piste of ripe currant, pastille, bay leaf and gentle tannins, oak and grape. Just enough grip for early to mid-term development. This is serious wine made to a friendly price-point.

Time Posted: 02/08/2018 at 2:28 PM
Stella Bella
13 July 2018 | Stella Bella

TROPHY - 2018 Stella Bella Sauvignon Blanc

Our 2018 Stella Bella Sauvignon Blanc has landed the TROPHY for best Sauvignon Blanc in show at the Royal Queensland Wine Show.

100% Sauvignon Blanc. 50% old oak. Bursting with tropical fruits of passionfruit and guava. Complex palate with racy acidity and a touch of savouriness. This vintage is the epitome of Southern Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc.

For 141 years, thousands of Australian winemakers have entered the nationally esteemed Royal Queensland Wine Show (RQWS) — the first capital city wine show held in Australia each year and the first to judge the new season's vintage. Built upon longstanding traditions celebrating excellence in wine, this prestigious show continues to garner success by paying close attention to consumer interest and current industry trends. To view the full show results click here.

Time Posted: 13/07/2018 at 3:34 PM
Stella Bella
6 June 2018 | Stella Bella

Our Brightest Chardonnay

Luminosa [Lu-min-o-sa] - Adjective

Bright. Brilliant. Full of light. 

Stella Bella Luminosa wines are distinguished and reflective. Handmade and created in small batches. Each wine is created to evolve beautifully over time and made only in exceptional vintages.

2016 Luminosa Chardonnay.

A new label design, a new name and another refined, elegant and textural vintage of southern Margaret River Chardonnay.

GOLD Medal + 95 Points - 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards

GOLD Medal - 2017 Halliday Chardonnay Challenge

95 Points - 2019 Halliday Wine Companion

95 Points - Huon Hooke

Time Posted: 06/06/2018 at 3:43 PM
Stella Bella
1 June 2018 | Stella Bella

2018 Decanter World Wine Awards

We are very proud of our recent results in the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards held in London. With 275 judges + 16,903 wines + 50 Best in Show Medals + 149 Platinum Medals + 240 Gold Medals. Stella Bella received 2 of 20 Platinum Medals awarded to Australian wines. The only 2 Platinum Medals awarded to Margaret River wines.

Platinum Medal 97 Points - 2016 Luminosa Cabernet Sauvignon (Est. release Oct 18)

Platinum Medal 97 Points - 2015 Suckfizzle Sauvignon Blanc Semillon (Est. release Feb 19)

Gold Medal 95 Points - 2016 Luminosa Chardonnay (New Release)

Time Posted: 01/06/2018 at 3:41 PM