The fruit for this wine comes from my favourite growers; most I have known for ever. They all enjoy a drink as much as I do, more often than not from their own blocks. I source fruit from vineyards of massive contrasts in geology and aspect to the sun; most have elevation and therefore smell sea breeze. 30 % of the Shiraz is estate grown on our rocky ridge (dark berry fruit flavours and mature fine tannins).
It would be tedious of me to try and detail all of the nuances of this wine. It does cascade with an extraordinary complexity on both on the palate and up the nose . It takes me to a place picking blackberries in the hills to make into the tastiest conserve; be careful of the browns. It's not just about the fruit but the entire summer landscape. Given time it may prove to be one of our classics. Our house style is driven by skin contact in the ferment. In 2008 we realized early that the season had delivered us a higher than usual tannin scenario so we tended to work the skins a little less. In hind sight I am very glad we did. This wine is matured in about 20 % new oak (a little less new oak than usual) from an arsenal of coopers. I choose barrels that contribute fine tannins and earth flavours. A little smoke and char for complexity. In ferment we engage some endemic, wild yeast that further the cause for savory flavours.
It’s a wine with genuine fruit purity that is then complemented by a range of spice; wild fennel, aniseed and a dollop of harissa. In the background there are scents of sweet wet clay on a potter’s wheel. I then smell the occasional waft of smoke that swirls around a pile of dried kelp. The flavours are full but fresh with the fruits of mulberry, blueberry and Satsuma plum. It has darkness and restrained power. All gaps are filled in, all the bits have fallen into place. Clasp your fingers, ‘here’s the steeple’. Linked, intertwined. It’s a wine that is stitched (not riveted) together with an expertly gentle hand. I’d like to think it would fetch a million pounds Sterling in a hundred years.
I tried to drop in to Samuel’s Gorge the other month, while I was visiting the region, and somehow missed finding it. I have to confess that I’m the kind of guy who forgets where he left the car in the carpark, and often spend a lot of time trying to find it. One day at Sydney Airport, I think it took me about 35 minutes wandering around cursing until I found the bugger. It’s OK when you’re on your own, but with company, it can get quite tense. Anyway, I digress. I think this is a much better wine than the 2014.