Windy conditions during flowering and fruit set in Spring 2002, combined with one of the worst droughts in 100 years resulted in reduced yields in McLaren Vale from vintage 2003. Rain in February caused problems for many growers, but being on deep soils and benefiting from the strong breezes from both the sea and gully winds from the nearby hills ensured the Edgehill vines avoided berry split, and yields were only moderately affected. Less volume of fruit was however ameliorated by the rich flavour and colour of the wines – the result of the ideal ripening conditions of veraison through to harvest.
Traditionally made in open fermenters, a third of the Shiraz was pressed off into barrel at approximately 2° Beaumé following twice daily pumping over skins. Undergoing natural malolactic fermentation in barrel, it was bottled after approximately 20 months maturation in a mixture of the very best new (40%) and old (60%) French and American oak barriques. A small proportion of the Shiraz was fermented on Viognier skins, from vines grown adjacent to the Shiraz in the organically certified vineyard. The Shiraz is a medium to long term cellaring prospect under optimum conditions.
A first nose at this wine gives a hint of the small percentage of Shiraz which was fermented on Viognier skins; a floral and slightly perfumed lift which develops further to include coffee oils, chicory and overall lush, bright fruit. There is a savoury edge to the wine to, which acts as a wonderful counterbalance to this trademark McLaren Vale bright fruit character, adding a further level of complexity and interest to this single vineyard wine. The 2003 Shiraz is pitched perfectly in the fruit vs. weight stakes, and coupled with the concentrated fruit and fresh Chinese Five Spice characters on the palate succeed in making this a wine which will drink well now, age well and show earth, spice, balance and flavour at every stage throughout. An excellent McLaren Vale Shiraz with a savoury edge.
|Picking Date||14th March 2003|
|Bottling Date||7th February 2005|
- Australian Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine Huon Hooke February 2006
- Australian Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine Max Allen December 2005
- James Halliday's Wine Companion 2007
- Penguin Wine Guide 2007
- Sydney Morning Herald Huon Hooke 8th November 2005
- Wine Enthusiast Magazine (US) February 2006
- Wine Spectator Magazine (US) May 2006