The fruit comes from our Trinders (old Block 5) and Chapman Brook (Blocks 23 and 24) 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.
Winter provided average rainfall and spring delivered beautiful warm, dry conditions, perfectly setting up vintage 2016. A warm start to summer in January gave good fruit set and crop predictions. An unseasonal single rain event in late January delivered adequate soil moisture for full maturity in the red varieties, both these lots demanding their own unique bottling.
The fruit was destemmed and lightly crushed to open fermenters, the Chapman Brook lot receiving 2% viognier for cofermentation elevating aromatics and deepening colour. The ferments proceeded with wild yeasts utilising punchdowns, pump overs and delestage (juice removal then pumped over the top for aeration and extraction purposes). In total, the Trinders lot spent 50 days on skins, whilst the Chapman Brook lot spent 70 days developing optimum balance of tannin, fruit and colour. Light basket pressing followed with malolactic fermentation taking place in French (80%) and American (20%) oak barriques (50% new); the wine was aged on lees (fermentation solids) for 8 months, before being racked off lees and aged a further 13 months then blended and bottled with no fining or filtration.
13.7% alcohol, 6.3 g/l total acidity, 3.61 pH
A blend of parcels from the Trinders Vineyard (great power and depth) and from the Chapman Brook Vineyard (nuanced, fine, floral characters). 50-70 days on skins; 21 months in French (80%) and American (20%) oak, 50% new oak overall. The result is a powerful, layered shiraz wanting to be a cabernet sauvignon, but isn't unduly put out by having to remain what it is.