2008 Vintage

‘Wilderness’ Grampians Shiraz

Vine age: approx 29 years
13.5% alc.pH3.49
Total Acidity 6.5g/l
560 dozen produced – SOLD OUT

Another Warm Year. The harvest dates were a few days earlier than those in 2007, there was little to no frost and yields were medium sized. Berry sizes were very small, indicating rich colours and tannins. This year we used all natural yeasts which gave slower, more gentle ferments. We also began using wooden fermenters along with our regular food-grade polyethylene ones, to provide more rounded tannins. We used only 10% new French oak, to create supple, less drying wines and to let the natural fruit and ‘mineral’ aromas shine through. Fruit from another vineyard was added to the blend this year. Sourced from a vineyard where the climate is much cooler and ripening is not until the very end of April, which enables intense pepper and high-toned aromas in this blend and lower alcohol levels also. The final blend comprises Westgate Vineyard Young vines 42%, Garden Gully Vineyard 40%, Rice’s Vineyard 10% and Henty Estate Vineyard 8%.

Rice’s Vineyard Grampians Shiraz

Vine Age: approx 17 years
14.5% alc.pH3.50
Total Acidity 6.9g/l
50 dozen produced – SOLD OUT

Garry Rice’s Vineyard just outside Stawell is one of the warmer sites in the region. The soil is sandy and light and very hungry with quartz and other rocks flecked throughout. It only ever produces around 1-1.5 tonnes per acre – very low indeed and is 17yrs old. It tends to be harvested about 1-2 weeks earlier than our next warmest site, in the first 2 weeks of March. This wine was fermented with natural yeasts in open, 500lt oak puncheons with 30-40% whole bunches to add complexity to the tannin structure and to build aromatics. It was not racked from barrel until bottling, and 50% of these were new French barrels from the Mercier cooperage. It was bottled without fining or filtration.

Westgate Vineyard Grampians Shiraz

Vine Age: approx 40 years
13.5% alc.pH3.39
Total Acidity 7.1g/l
150 dozen produced – SOLD OUT

This is my favourite vineyard in the region. Its oldest vines were planted in 1969 and are now 40yrs old. It is a much cooler site on an easterly aspect which loses the sunlight an hour or two earlier than nearby sites, which tends to delay ripening by a week or two. This wine follows on from a similar wine released from 2006 which was named in the top 100 wines in Australia by James Halliday. The grapes were 100% destemmed and fermented in 500lt open oak puncheons over 14 days before resting for 14 months in French oak, approx 40% of which was new, from Francois Freres, Gillet and Meyrieux coopers. The vineyard generally exhibits very floral Shiraz characters and wonderful length without being heavy or hard. Again this wine was bottled without fining or filtration.