By Leigh O’Connor.
Remember Sebastian Atkins-Davis, who at 11 had just finished making his fourth wine?
At the time we wondered if Sebastian was Australia’s youngest winemaker, having become involved with winemaking at his fathers’ Steels Gate vineyard
on Melba Highway in Dixons Creek at the tender age of eight.
Fast forward to this month and it’s time to put Sebastian’s wines to the test! On Saturday, February 18 Steels Gate’s Restaurant will be offering a five-course tasting menu to accompany the release of his first three wines – 2021 Atkins-Davis Cabernet-Shiraz, 2021 Atkins-Davis Chardonnay and 2020 Atkins-Davis Merlot ‘Smerlot’.
Head Chef Stacy Thompson has curated a menu highlighting amazing local produce along with offerings from the kitchen garden. Here is the menu:
Canapés, paired with 2019 Home Block Blanc de Blanc.
Shark Bay blue swimmer crab, scallop, palm heart and vanilla beurre blanc, paired with 2021 Atkins-Davis single barrel Chardonnay.
Aylesbury duck, pomme Anna, fig and caramelised endive, paired with 2021 Atkins-Davis co-fermented single barrel Cabernet-Shiraz.
Venison Conte fillet, braised cabbage, sour cherry and green pepper, paired with 2020 Atkins-Davis single barrel Merlot ‘Smerlot’.
Chocolate tartlet, estate strawberries, honeycomb and walnut, paired with 2010 Rutherglen Vintage Port.
The son of winemakers Brad Atkins and Matthew Davis, Sebastian makes all the winemaking decisions himself, with his approach being minimal intervention, wild yeast, no added chemicals, filtering or fining, resulting in some of his wine having sediment.
His first wine was nicknamed ‘Smerlot’ and is still referred to as that, while the Cabernet-Shiraz offered the opportunity to learn more about co-fermentation. With only 8% Shiraz, Sebastian considered adding more, but on his Dads’ advice, he trialled the wine first and decided to leave it be.
Having taste-tested the Chardonnay at AGFG, we think this drop is sure to be a winner with a classic hue and buttery tones, making it ideal for Summer sipping.
For more information on the February 18 event, click here