The fruit for this wine is sourced from our original block of bush vines, planted in 1974 at the western edge of the Wallcliffe Vineyard, together with a small parcel planted by our founders close by. Trellising is a hybrid bush vine with training wires and all operations are conducted manually throughout the season as this fussy variety requires enormous care, although it remains one of the team’s favourite ‘unruly children’. We conducted extensive shoot thinning plus removed the shoulders of the bunches to enable disease free perfect ripening
Heavy winter rains recharged soil moisture level led into a calm settled period for fruit set to give moderate crop levels. The season was warm in November progressing growth but developed into a cooler ripening period from January through March allowing enhanced flavour and physiological (tannin) development. The huge Marri tree blossom kept the birds occupied allowing the grapes to ripen in perfect health and full balanced maturity
After destemming and a very light crush, the must was allowed to soak at cool temperatures for several days prior to fermentation to naturally rehydrate the raisins - so typical for this variety. The wine steadily fermented to dryness prior to basket pressing directly to oak barriques for malolactic fermentation and maturation. We used around 50% new oak with a combination of origins (French (50%), American (25%) and Hungarian (25%)) and blended in a touch of Shiraz to excentuate spice and complexity, with a total of 20 months aging
15.7% alcohol, 6.41 g/l total acidity, 3.45 pH
91/9% zinfandel/shiraz. Hand picked, wild ferment, on skins for 51 days, left for 7 months on ferment lees, blended and matured a further 12 months in (50% new) oak, a 50/25/25% mix of French, Hungarian and American. From the near-perfect 2018 vintage, springs this intense, oak-driven and concentrated wine. The year has imparted a concentrated ripeness and balance that will stand it in good stead in the cellar. The evident oak is distracting right now, but will surely mellow over time. A wine with a cult following.