Old Gold and Fine WineAugust 22, 2011
The cellar in the foyer of Fontaine restaurant houses some of the more popular wines on the wine list, but Alex takes me out the back where the rare wines are kept.
“I like that it [winemaking] is a joint venture between nature and man. You need good grapes to start with but then it’s up to the winemaker,” he tells me as we walk through the kitchen to the main cellar.
He shows me the oldest wine on Hayman, a bottle of Château Haut-Brion from1926. One of France’s oldest vineyards, Haut Brion began wine making back in 1533 and even then was considered a top shelf wine, often being favoured by royalty. Today, it is one of only five vineyards awarded with the top Bordeaux classification of ‘Premier Cru Classé’ from 1855.
Although it’s the oldest wine in the cellar, there’s a bottle of cognac that is even older. The 1906 Martell Grande Champagne Cognac was bottled after resting in barrels for forty years.
There are wines from all over the world here, but Alex says Australian wines are the focus.
“What we’re trying to do with the wine list, especially Fontaine’s, is showcase the best wines Australia has to offer,” says Alex.
Penfolds Grange, one of Australia’s most iconic and esteemed wines, is well represented in the Hayman cellar, stocking almost every vintage since 1965.
Alex clearly loves his wine and seeing him in the Hayman cellar is like watching a kid in a candy store.
“This cellar is the biggest I’ve been to in Australia, it’s pretty special.”
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