The Battle of Bosworth Shiraz is a mouth-filling middle weight wine; it is not a blockbuster, nor does it strive to be. The nose shows red and black fruit, with some earth and a whiff of dark chocolate. The palate shows the same red and black fruits, with some blueberry too, and the wine finishes long and well-balanced. Drink with steak, game, osso bucco or on its own in a comfortable chair.
We had good winter rains after a few seasons of below average rainfall. This was a late season: budburst was approximately 2-3 weeks late, and harvest started similarly behind our standard season (we usually start picking Chardonnay in early/ mid February). Unseasonal rains in March threw a spanner in the works somewhat, but luck and good management helped us dodge most of the bullets. Our best parcels of Shiraz are incredibly bright, balanced and reminiscent of our 1999 reds, which have incredible longevity. Overall this was a very long vintage with moderate yields which tested Joch’s nerves a little more than usual.
This is the 11th vintage of the Battle of Bosworth Shiraz, which is pretty exciting for us. The style has not really changed since we started making this wine – we have always strived to make a mid-weight wine with moderate oak to allow the lovely McLaren Vale fruit characters to shine through. I think (notwithstanding the tricky vintage) we have comprehensively managed to do this. We take components for this wine off the heavy black cracking Bay of Biscay soils of our Braden’s vineyard, our home vineyard (from the Road block and the Hill block) as well as from the free draining stony loam soils of Chanticleer. The wine is traditionally made in open fermenters, and the ferment finishes in barrel. We use about 40% new oak barriques, the majority of which is from 3-4 different French coopers.
Huon Hooke, www.huonhooke.com 25th February 2014
Medium to deep red colour, slight purple. Slight meaty charcuterie-like aromas. Soft medium-weight palate; gentle tannins and starting to soften and show some development. Good drinking in an up-front style.
#33 of 81 Shiraz tasted from McLaren Vale in 2011
Vineyards: Braden's, 'Grange' (Road and Hill Blocks), Chanticleer
Picking Date: 18th, 22nd and 23rd March 2011
pH Level: 3.61
Total Acidity: 66.33
Bottling Date: 21st November 2012