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 sub region at an elevated site with loam over limestone soils. This vineyard tends to produce bigger, bolder tannins due to the low yielding vines.
A wet season in 2017 set the vines up for a healthy start to the 2018 vintage. This proved to be fortunate as the 2018 growing season saw hot and dry conditions from December through to February causing early ripening across all varieties. The summer was hot, but the cool night time temperatures ensured the grapes were in excellent condition with good acidity levels when harvesting took place in early March. The heat reduced the overall vigour of the vines and brought yields back down to a normal level after a higher than average crop in 2017.
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.