Beeson Family Vineyard - Old Bridge Cellars

Beeson Family Vineyard

Apr 26, 2022Old Bridge

Long before Old Bridge Cellars, Mark Beeson (aka Dad) started making wines with his long time Pharmacist and Horse Breeding friend Neville. His first wine, a Chardonnay of course, was originally inspired by the Westfield style of Chardonnay from the 80's. Produced with delicious fruit from one of Margaret River's first fully enclosed, netted 'clos' vineyards in the lush, alluvial soils of the Carbunup River flood plains. The winery was originally called 'Flooded Gum' named after the picturesque trees found planted along the property's dam. 

Then, 15 years ago, Mark and Cassandra purchased a 7.5 acre vineyard in Marybrook with 40 rows of Cabernet Sauvignon vines. With an idea to bring a wine to the market with a point of difference, they travelled to Italy to the viticultural province of Valpolicella near Verona (those were the days!) to investigate the wine known as Amarone. A bold Italian red, Amarone is a wine they had loved since trying in Western Australia many years before.

Returning home full of inspiration they identified that the Amarone techniques could be applied to the cabernet grapes on their own Forty Row’s Vineyard. Renowned Margaret River winemaker Mark Warren was engaged to further investigate this opportunity, the idea developed and Cassiodorus was born. Cassiodorus is a wine that pays homage to the Amarone style with a Western Australian flair.

Cassiodorus Cabernet Sauvignon

In the 5th century, Roman statesman Cassiodorus described an ancient winemaking method whereby the grapes were late-picked and then hung to wither for several weeks before pressing. A similar method is still used in Italy today to produce Amarone.

‘Cassiodorus’ is our celebration of Amarone. In a labour of love, our Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are cane-cut and then left to shrivel on the vine before hand-picking. The result is a rich, powerful and complex wine best described as ‘an iron fist in a velvet glove.’

Forty Rows Vineyard: 

The 40 rows of cabernet vines on the property influenced the name of this vineyard. The grapes not used to create Cassiodorus are pressed to create the Forty Rows Cabernet Sauvignon. While the Forty Rows vineyard is purely cab sav grapes, we couldn’t not include a Chardy as part of Mark Beeson’s wine collection. The grapes for the Forty Rows Chardonnay are sourced by Mark Warren to create a stand up Chardonnay. Recently we have been able to source high quality Margaret River Shiraz grapes to add a medium bodied, savoury and enticing Shiraz to the lineup. 

Forty Rows Chardonnay 

Grapes were sourced by Margaret River winemaker Mark Warren to create a Chardonnay for the Forty Row’s collection. Produced in the older Margaret River style with 30-35% malolactic fermentation and 9 months on 1-2 year old oak.

Wild yeast and barrel fermentation was used to craft this delicious wine. The resulting Chardonnay has attractive ripe peach and cumquat with noticeable pastry, almond meal and lemon butter aromas. The palate is soft and creamy, displaying stone fruit and brioche flavours with hints on oak and buttered toast. The grapes for this wine come from the iconic Wilyabrup region.

Forty Rows Shiraz 

Again sourced by Mark Warren, we aimed to embrace the white pepper spice component of Margies Shiraz. Hailing from the 2018 vintage which was one of the best we have ever had for red grape varieties. With subtle, integrated tannis from both well treated fruit and charry oak, this savoury Shiraz has been an absolute hit since hitting the shelves.

Forty Rows Cabernet Sauvignon

While a large portion of the vines are allocated to create the Amarone style wine Cassiodorus, the rest of the grapes are sent off to create a luscious, medium-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon with an aroma of tomato leaf, black jubes and red berries. The palate is soft with berry fruit characters. Integrated French oak and slight tobacco and herbal notes combine with fine tannins and a soft finish. 

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