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Producer: Willunga 100Grape Varieties: 95% Shiraz 5% ViognierOptimum Drinking: Within 4 yearsWine Style: Rich full bodied redAlcohol by Volume: 14%Closure: ScrewcapCountry: Australia
The grapes for the Willunga wines come from a range of selected vineyards in McLaren Vale and Adelaide Hills, including some over 50 years old. Wines were made by Steve Pannell and Kate Day up to 2010 and now by Tim James and Kate Day. They use modern equipment alongside traditional winemaking techniques, including open-top fermenters, to ferment the small parcels of fruit arriving at the winery. Willunga 100 aims to produce unique and distinctive wines which capture the essence of the region.
The Shiraz fruit in this blend comes from the Mary Gordon Vineyard which is 15 years old, and the Hillside vineyard which is 21 years old. The latter is one of the first Shiraz ripening vineyards in the district located in the Sellicks Hill subregion at an elevated site with loam over limestone soils. This vineyard tends to produce bigger, bolder tannins due to the low yielding vines.
The 2016 vintage was a vintage of two distinct halves. Winter and spring were exceptionally dry and warm and the vines required additional irrigation to avoid heat stress. Thankfully, a number of rainstorms turned 2016 into one of the wettest and mildest ripening periods. This cool, wet period saved the harvest and allowed for a long maturation period, which resulted in wines with incredible structure and ageing potential.
Parcels of Shiraz were harvested in late February and March, with each one fermented separately, using open fermenters. A small part of Viognier was added with the Shiraz, giving aromatic lift and brightness while also helping to stabilise the colour. Warm fermentation temperatures combined with regular pump-overs and plunging ensured optimum extraction. Only the best parcels were selected to produce the wine, which were matured in stainless steel as well as new and old French oak for 9-18 months. The Shiraz pressings were also added back into the blend to add complexity.
The nose offers tremendous lift of spice from the Viognier, dark black berries supported in the background by the careful use of oak. The palate is rich and luscious with the ripe fruits harnessed by supple tannins. The finish is long and lasting.
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