The history of Stanton & Killeen spans seven generations and began when Rutherglen was a fledging gold mining town in the 1870s. Today, mother-daughter team, Wendy and Natasha Killeen, are looking to the future by combining the best features of the old and new, continuing the tradition of making award-winning fortified and distinctive quality table wine.
Their small team is having fun with 14 varieties, including some rare and unusual Portuguese cultivars. Vineyard ecology and soil health are a priority for viticulturist Fred Morris ensuring outstanding fruit is produced from 33 hectares. Varieties include 97-year-old Shiraz vines, Durif, muscat and Portuguese varieties including Tinto cão, tinta roriz, Tinta Barroca and Touriga Nacional. More recently planted to suit Rutherglen’s climate and soils are alvarinho arinto, and souzão. Winemaker Andrew Drumm continues to develop the decades-old modified solera, which produces some of Rutherglen’s most famous muscats, topaques, and tawny. These sit alongside exciting new table wines including The Prince Reserva, a complex blend of Portuguese red grapes. Muscat grapes are picked at optimum ripeness, with high levels of natural grape sugar and the flavours that come from extended ripening. Once picked, they are crushed and kept on skins until fermentation commences, at which point they are quickly pressed and fortified with grape spirit. This early fortification preserves the natural sugars while the short fermentation releases additional flavour from the skins. Once fortified, the wine is stored in large oak casks for three to four years before we assess which of the classifications it fits into. Wines that show “Classic” potential are kept apart in large oak for another few years until they enter the first stage of our modified solera system, where each year wines are drawn off and added to older collections.
Stanton & Killeen Classic Rutherglen Muscat is dark in colour, and has aromas of caramelised butter, Turkish delight, tobacco, and espresso. The palate is balanced and complex with flavours of rich raisin fruit, rose petal, dried fig, and cumquat. The finish is long but not too sweet. The perfect pairing for rich chocolate tart with raspberry coulis.