(Me on left, Michael Lane - Vineyard Manager, Shelley Thompson - Winemaker)
On Wednesday myself and Shelley put together all our Shiraz from the 2009 harvest.
From 10 Blocks of Shiraz we produced 69 individual batches of Shiraz, with included micro cru's of blocks, different treatments such as extended cold soaks, 30% whole bunch ferments, early picks and late picks, pressings and extended drainings and co-fermentation of Roussanne. It took us 2 days of on and off tastings to start piecing together our blending and tagging what could be some very special "Small Pot" releases
Our Block 15 seems to always top the tasting, and it did again this year. Block 15 is in Ironstone gravels and will defintely go into our yet to be released flagship Shiraz called "Ironheart". There is is some wholebunch ferment in it this year, i am really excited about the whole bunch ferments this year. (even less intervention... don't even have to crush those ones! well 30% at least...)
We trialled picking a couple of blocks quite early, to make a very elegant style yet still full bodied, that can have great longevity. The results were stunning, and block 12 was earmarked for this "small pot" release.
We also trialled some co-fermentation with Roussanne, wow so aromatic, so far really quince like aromas added to the berry concentration of the Shiraz, block 10 was the stand out. What's interesting, is these wines are more tannic, in a nice way though.
We also trialled 30% whole bunch fermentation on all our favourite blocks, and wow, we were blown away how exciting these wines are, the tannins are bigger but with an amazing fury texture. This could be a very exciting single release, probably from blocks 10, 12, 17 and 19.
Now we are shuffling the oak regimes, fine tuning how much new french oak each has, how much lees stirring a batch might get. Now the fun of watching them evolve, and in a couple of years you can join us to taste them and watch them evolve too...