Heathcote Wine Region, in Central Victoria, has grown a reputation as a great place to grow Shiraz. The region features a deep strip of rare, ancient, red Cambrian soil with excellent moisture retention characteristics, virtually eliminating the need for irrigation. It is this red soil that gives Heathcote Shiraz its distinctive character.
2013 was a very warm but forgiving year. Poor rain fall over winter, meant that the vines were on the back foot when the heat of summer came along. Luckily a couple of big rainfall events in January and February meant that the vines were able to survive the extremely hot summer, although it took its toll on the size of the berries and the quantity of juice they provided.
The issue of water is a dilemma we face each year. Other vineyards throughout the region, including the ones we use for Cambrian Rise, JSE Members Reserve Shiraz and a portion of Rich Reef Shiraz have a watering system. We like to treat our Athols Paddock a little meaner, which results in a more concentrated wine. In a year like 2013, that means that you the consumer reap the benefits at the cost of the overall volume of wine we have to sell. In 2013 we made only 300 dozen.
Long periods of high heat and a dry land vineyard resulted in the most intense, concentrated Heathcote Shiraz we have ever made. While this offered amazing opportunities, mishandled, it could have resulted in disaster.
Very small berries and high seed to juice ratio meant that the wine is insanely dark in colour and intense in flavour. To control the amount of tannin extraction resulting from the seeds and dense/ dried fruit character, we fermented the wine as whole berries to preserve the wines aromatics and liveliness. We also skimmed some of the seeds off the top of the ferment to prevent the wine becoming too tannic.
To view some images of the making of this wine please see our image gallery
Colour: Dark plum with a deep Burgundy hue.
Nose: Intense rich, vanillin and plum notes with an aniseed and blackberry undertone
Palate: A very powerful wine with loads of rich intense flavour. Spice, dark chocolate, vanilla and plums are the overarching flavours. The wine is very well balanced and has extraordinary length.
Cellaring: This wine is exceptionally well structured with plenty of intensity. We expect it to be fantastic drinking for the next 15-20 years.
Food Matching: Gamey meat dishes such as rabbit or Venison.
Awards & Reviews: 95 Points - James Halliday Wine Companion 2017
94 Points - James Halliday Wine Companion 2018
This year marks 30 years of Heathcote Shiraz. To read about it and see photos please click here