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Singlefile Wines

Claire Bateman
11 June 2024 | Claire Bateman

Q&A with State Buildings Group Sommelier Emma Farrelly

Emma Farrelly is an award-winning sommelier, including being named Gourmet Traveller’s Sommelier of the Year in 2019, and is the Group Sommelier for Perth’s State Buildings and Como the Treasury. In this role, she oversees the wine lists for esteemed venues such as Wildflower, Post, Long Chim and Petition.

We were delighted to have Emma join us at our recent sold out dinner celebrating ten vintages of our flagship estate chardonnay, Limited Release ‘The Vivienne’ Denmark Chardonnay. She provided guests with her expert commentary on these very special wines, including the yet-to-be released 2021 vintage.

“I just tasted the 2021 ‘The Vivienne’ for the first time - obviously, it’s not been released yet, but it’s an incredible wine,” she says. “It’s got such power, incredible drive, length and intensity. There is a gorgeous Chablis-esque mouthfeel, along with piercing acidity, then a sense of weight behind the wine as it builds. Although very young, you can see this wine will age beautifully.”

Read on for a little more of Emma’s story growing into her role in the wine industry, her take on the current trends in wine, and her view of the Great Southern’s place in the global wine scene.

What drew you to the world of wine? Tell us about the favourite parts of your role.

I chose to become a sommelier when I was about twenty one. I’d always worked in hospitality and always had a very strong love of food, and then wine followed. When I decided that was the path I wanted to go down, I haven’t looked back!

My favourite part of the role of a sommelier is the storytelling - being the conduit between the producer and the consumer. There’s such a vast difference between what goes on in the vineyard and what happens on the restaurant floor, they’re really different environments. It’s so rewarding to be able to share those stories of farmers and producers - and families, such as Singlefile - with my customers.

How would you explain the profile of wines produced from the Great Southern?

The Great Southern is a beautifully vast region and incredibly understated in terms of the global scale of wine. It’s one of Western Australia’s biggest hidden secrets. The wines are incredibly expressive and have excellent natural acidity from the cooler climate. They’ve got a lovely purity to them, a lovely flow - they’re elegant, restrained, and yet they’ve got beautiful density of fruit and plenty of flavour. 

Tell us about how you discovered Singlefile’s wines. How would you describe their place in the wine world?

I feel like I’ve been buying Singlefile’s wines forever! I think the first one that I tried was either the Chardonnay or the Clément V red blend, and I remember thinking the wines were open and transparent, and had beautiful purity to them.

Singlefile’s place in the world of wine is incredibly well respected. The wines very much speak of site and place, and there is a great family story behind it all. That goes a really long way in this current climate of wine consumption. People like to know the who, the where, the what, the why when they’re making choices about what they want to drink. Singlefile are a high quality producer, making wines that really express their place.

What trends are you seeing in wine, in terms of what customers are drawn to?

I think people are experimenting a little bit more with alternative white varieties, although chardonnay is incredibly popular and I don’t see that slowing down at all, as is really good quality Australian sparkling. Alternative white varieties that are being planted in this country to deal with climate change have seen a real surge in popularity - Mediterranean varieties such as vermentino and fiano. 

With reds, I’m seeing people gravitate to wines with a sense of restraint and elegance. A little lighter, in terms of alcohol, slightly less extraction, less oak - reds that speak a little more about vineyard and soil, and very much express the variety grown in that place.


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