The fruit comes from our Wallcliffe, Trinders and Crossroads vineyards. The typical soils of these vineyards are geologically ancient, free draining red sandy loams with a high percentage of lateritic gravel. The vines are now fully dry grown and, early in the season, manually thinned and leafed to expose the fruit. Picking decisions are made by taste only; picking is by hand in small batches
The preceding winter gave healthy rains, replenishing soil moisture levels which led into a milder spring with higher than average rainfall amounts. Flowering in all varieties was delayed by 10 days compared to 2016, with wonderful sunshine giving excellent set (fruitful flowers into berries) and thus great crop potential across all varieties. With a mild summer, punctuated by only a few hot days, veraison (colouring and softening of berries) came three weeks later than 2016 giving one of the latest yet highest quality vintages on record, delivering refined and complete tannin structure with complex fruit characters
The fruit is destemmed from 70 to 100% (up to 30% whole cluster inclusion) and lightly crushed to a combination of open and closed fermenters. The ferments proceed with wild yeasts, some with viognier cofermenting to add aromatic lift and deepen colours. Post fermentation macerations are long- up to 80
days- before light basket pressing. Malolactic fermentation takes place in French (80%) and American (20%) oak barriques (20% new) and the wine is aged on lees (fermentation solids) for 16 months and then blended. Some grenache was blended in for mid palate juiciness and to enhance the spice elements
14.3% alcohol, 5.63 g/l total acidity, 3.64 pH
86/14% Margaret River/Geographe. 89/7/2/1% shiraz/alicante boushet/viognier/grenache. On skins for up to 48 days, 18 months on lees in French oak (35% new). The complex regional/varietal blending has blurred the clarity of the shiraz. This clearly has class and presence, but it lacks precise expression of region and variety.
The West Australian
This is an opulent, riper style capturing the rich textures and flavours of this variety in Margaret River. There is spiciness on the nose with more aromatic ginger and apricot. The tannins are quite assertive, but they are and thread seamlessly through the plush fruit flavours. A lot of punch and drive in here.