Vintage 2014 was a season of extremes for us all in McLaren Vale. We had great winter rains which gave us a full soil profile in time for a dry and windy spring. They don’t call it windy Willunga for nothing – I think if we’d had a set of wind chimes on the property, we would have heard them all day and night from September to January. We had a series of very hot days in January, followed by about 45mm of rain over a 48 period in early February which slowed ripening of our red grapes right down. We had picked all of our white grapes prior to the rain ‘event’ and so we had a decent break between whites and reds, like the good old days. There was no splitting of any of the grapes left on the vine after the rain, mercifully, either. Joch’s analysis of 2014 is that it was a gentleman’s vintage – everything came in slowly and in order, not like the mad rush of 2013. Every vintage is different; truism of our time, and of our industry.
We could never be accused of re-inventing the wheel here, when it comes to winemaking. Tried and tested methods tend to win out most of the time, with some exceptions. We picked the Shiraz grapes when they reached optimum ripeness and flavour. They were gently pressed and then transferred to open fermenters. Most of the grapes finish ferment in barrel, but some went straight into stainless steel vessels. We don’t want oak to play the main role in this wine (or indeed any of our wines.) We do use some new oak barrels (these impart more toasty oak characters), but use mainly old barriques and hogsheads (300 litres). We bottle approximately 12 months after harvesting the grapes.
This is such a delicious shiraz showing off all the lovely characters which McLaren Vale is well known and loved for – red and dark fruits, a little chocolate overlaid on a fresh palate with just enough hint of oak to add complexity and depth. Lovely smooth ripe tannins lead you onto a polished finish. Try with old school Boeuf Bourguignon – and depending on how much you’ve got of the Scarlet Runner, you could use it as the red wine component of the recipe!
|Picking Date||11th, 13th and 17th March 2014|
|Bottling Date||10th December 2014|