About Saracen Estates

History

What’s in a Name? – our logo.

The term Saracen comes from Greek, derived from the Arabic word for Easterners. Romans first used the term Saracen to describe the nomadic Arab tribes of the Syro-Arabian Desert and the Saraceni name is very well known as a result of those conquering tribes who settled in various regions of Italy. The Saracens were considered one of the most culturally and socially advanced races during the 12th Century Crusades, excelling in all facets of art and responsible for some of the most significant mathematical discoveries in the world.

Saladin was a Sultan of Egypt and Syria and a great leader of the Saracens, who led the Islamic opposition to the Third Crusade in the 12th Century, eventually recapturing Palestine from Jerusalem. Despite his fierce struggle against the Crusades, Saladin achieved a great reputation in Europe as a chivalrous knight.

A very generous and virtuous man, Saladin’s generosity followed him to his grave, unable to pay for his own funeral for giving away most of his riches to charity.

The Saracen Knight – warrior and horseman – is used by Saracen Estates as its logo and wine branding. Saracen Estates follow in Saladin’s footsteps with numerous charitable donations.

Charity organisations close to the Saracen Estates family are Alzheimers Australia, the Ear Science Institute Australia, Blind Society of WA, Youth Focus WA, Fairbridge Farm and the National Breast Cancer Foundation to name but a few.

Our Saracen Painting and the inspiration for our premium wine labels!

The Saracen Painting was a masterpiece from artist Sue Hurst The Artist during her studies at Edith Cowan University in 1999.

Sue speaks of the inspiration behind this intriguing design:
“After receiving the commission to explore a design for the Saracen Estate Wine Label, I did a little research and found that the word Saracen was used by the Ancient Romans, to refer to a people who inhabited the deserts near the Roman province of Syria and who were distinct from the Arabs. They were often referred to as desert dwellers.
This inspired me to paint the painting with the gold yellow and reds. The horse and rider came to mind as I was aware of their history for battle, fighting many battles on their magnificent horses with spear and sword in hand. The other symbols in the design are fictitious, but I felt a little artistic licensing wouldn’t go astray.
The painting was painted on a textured surface and the style was a little naïve, over all it seemed to work and at the time I was happy with the end result.”

Saracen Estates is immensely impressed with the end result too and sections of the painting form the centre piece on the labels of our Premium Saracen Estates range!

Wine and Winemaking Philosophy:

The ocean strongly defines the climate in Margaret River, which is classed as ‘west coast Mediterranean’ featuring warm to hot summers and mild to wet winters. The region is surrounded by the Southern and Indian Oceans on three sides, meaning humidity, frost and extreme temperatures are rare. The majority of Margaret River’s approximate 1100mm of rain falls between May and October, and the remaining six months of the year are relatively dry. Summer day time temperatures rarely move above 35 degrees Celsius and the influence of the ocean means nights are cool, providing perfect growing and ripening conditions for wine grapes. The dry summer and autumn and lack of humidity means diseases common to vines aren’t often a problem and come March the first white varieties are picked in the cool of night and early morning, with the last of the red varieties being picked in late April.

The original location of the Saracen Estates vineyard was in the famous Wilyabrup Valley which provided the excellent free draining laterite gravel loam known for producing the highest quality wines of the Margaret River Wine Region. The vineyard was planted with the classic varieties of Chardonnay, Cabernet, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz. Utmost care and attention is still today given to ensure the best quality fruit is purchased at harvest to ensure maximum varietal expression and fruit flavour.

This philosophy is continued in the contract winery where each step of production is carefully monitored and no expense spared in order to produce the highest quality wine. Traditional methods are applied and the latest technology utilized. In our short history our success in the vineyard and winery is reflected in the quality of our wines and the accolades we have received around the country from some of the most highly respected individuals in the industry. Our aim is to produce wines that reflect and illustrate how the ideal climatic conditions, soil, viticultural and oenological practices can work together to create the highest quality wine. We hope you enjoy and love our wines as much as we do.

OUR PEOPLE

Maree Saraceni | Director and Owner

Maree Saraceni and her family have spent the vast majority of their vacation time and many weekends in Busselton, Dunsborough and the Margaret River Wine Region after being introduced to the wonders of that particular part of the South West by their good friends Colin and Karen Vidler. Over the years, they have in turn introduced many family members and friends to vineyards, beaches, breweries, galleries, restaurants, caves, to name but a few, while holidaying at the family beach house in Old Dunsborough.

The Saraceni family first became involved in the wine industry many years ago through a small fine wine importing business they owned. In the time since they have diversified and expanded, beginning commercial production in 1998 with the first small vintage produced under the Saracen Estates label. Property for a vineyard was purchased on Caves Road, Wilyabrup in late 2002. Around that time, World renowned Consultant Winemaker, Bob Cartwright, was approached to join the Saracen Estates team and has been responsible for many accolades and the production of many award winning Saracen Estate wines.

Maree Saraceni believes in aiming to provide a unique experience for her loyal customers and the previous Saracen Estates incorportating Duckstein Brewery Complex (2008-2013), did just that and more. She was dedicated to the vineyard and the wine industry and her aim is still to produce premium wines that rank among the country’s best.

Since July, 2013, Saracen Estates has been operating a virtual winery from it’s Perth office.  Along with her brother, General Manager Dennis Parker, Maree put together a very talented team to lead Saracen Estates into an award winning future, and tasting and enjoying the quality of their wines will be testament to this fact.

Dennis Parker | General Manager

Dennis is Maree Saraceni’s brother and has been involved with Saracen Properties since 1995. He and Maree grew up as very close siblings, and Dennis lived with Maree from the age of seventeen until twenty three when he married Jane (Giovanna). Jane and Dennis spent the first six months of their marriage in Sicily with Jane’s family where Dennis had his first taste of the wine world, assisting in the production of the family’s wine: his main duty being to squash grapes with his feet!

Dennis’ role at Saracen Estates draws on his skills developed in management through his years with Saracen Properties and he is responsible for overseeing production, sales and marketing and has been integral in the establishment of the previous Saracen Estates – Duckstein Brewery Complex (2008-2013) in Margaret River. Dennis brings passion and drive to the Saracen Group and is committed and dedicated to the future growth and prosperity of one of the up and coming companies of the Margaret River Wine Region.

Bob Cartwright | Wine Maker

South Australian born Bob began his career in the Barossa Valley at Kaiser Stuhl in 1963, working initially as a cellar hand then as a laboratory assistant. After two years practical experience he commenced study at Roseworthy Agricultural College, graduating in 1967 and winning the R.H. Martin Memorial prize for Sensory Evaluation. In 1973 Bob relocated his young family to Western Australia, taking a position at Valencia Wines and then Houghton as winemaker. In 1978, Bob joined Leeuwin Estate for their first vintage in the then fledgling Margaret River Wine Region.

Bob remained with Leeuwin Estate for twenty eight vintages, during that time crafting what was to become known as one of Australia’s and indeed the world’s finest Chardonnays, the Leeuwin Art Series. When the Saraceni’s approached Bob about making their wines: “The vineyards, the varieties and the enthusiasm were enough for me!” he says. Maree’s favourite grape variety is Chardonnay, and her commitment and passion for producing world class wines together with Bob’s talent means that our wines are more than well looked after, and this can certainly be seen in the accolades we have received in our short history.

Bob is a great credit to the Saracen team, not only for the obvious skill and talent he brings with his winemaking skills, but also for his willingness to answer questions and pass his knowledge on to the staff. He also possesses a wealth of great fishing tips, and when he’s not got his nose in yet another glass of Chardonnay he’ll be out on the Indian Ocean searching for the perfect catch to accompany his favourite wine!

Saracen Estates

Maree Saraceni and her brother, General Manager Dennis Parker, are running a virtual winery through Saracen Estates’ Perth office, employing contract winemaker Clive Otto. Saracen Estates is buying premium Margaret River single vineyard harvest and continuing to make premium boutique wine under contract.

OWNERS : Maree Saraceni
WINEMAKERS : Clive Otto
ESTABLISHED : 1996
VINEYARD LOCATION : Margaret River
ANNUAL CRUSH : 70 tonnes
VARIETIES : Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot

WINE PRICES : $22 – 70
PHONE : 9486 9410
EMAIL : sales@saracenestates.com.au
WEBSITE : www.saracenestates.com.au
DISTRIBUTION : Retail, Online

Saracen Estates chardonnay 2016 ($35)

An engaging young chardonnay packing a decent payload of creamy rich fruit intensity. Slightly nutty with a nectarine stone fruit character. It’s full bodied with good length through the palate.
SCORE 90/100 CELLAR 5 Years

Saracen Estate Maree Method Traditional 2010 ($35)

Wow, after a few extra years in bottle some really exciting things are happening here. Immediately strikes on the nose with that deep toasty autolysis character. This is a sparkling wine that is drinking at its peak and showing some most impressive classic sparkling characters. Deep and penetrating palate with a complex buttery yeasty middle finished with a dry mix of savouriness and lifted citrus. Still got plenty of time ahead of it.
SCORE 92/100 CELLAR 4 years

Saracen Estates cabernet sauvignon 2012 ($35)

Amazing what a little extra time in the bottle does for a wine before it is released. This still has primary fruit but it has settled down and is preparing for that second phase of development. It has a subtle leathery blackcurrant character with toasty oak, dark chocolate and a trace of black olive edginess, which sits so well within the deep chocolaty blackcurrant palate.
SCORE 92/100 CELLAR 8 years

Saracen Estates cabernet merlot 2015 ($26)

An elegantly structured medium-bodied cabernet blend. Tobacco leaf and red berry on the nose. Fine chalky tannins and subtle oak supporting some nice gentle fruit characters. Lovely focus and good length through to the finish.
SCORE 89/100 CELLAR 3 years

Saracen Estates Reserve cabernet sauvignon 2012 ($65)

Full-bodied elegant Margaret River cabernet sauvignon. Leafy notes of tobacco with blackcurrant and black olive nuances. The palate has some quite firm tannins in play, while the oak sits comfortably within the fruit. Neatly integrated and balanced with a firm spine supporting the long palate
SCORE 92/100 CELLAR 12 years

Wine Making Process

ADDRESS

342 Murray Street,
Perth 6000 PO Box 7630 Cloisters Square,
Perth 6850

CONTACT

Phone 08 9486 9410
sales@saracenestates.com.au

WEBSITE

www.saracenestates.com.au

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RAY'S WINE GUIDE 2017