From premium Shiraz vineyards in the cooler hills which run along the eastern side of the Barossa Valley, in the sub-region of the Eden Valley. A blend of sweet juicy fruit from two vineyards, featuring shallow soils of shale, schist and mica which lend an element of elegance to this wine. Some of the Shiraz comes from vines planted in the Eden Valley township, and a rare, higher altitude Shiraz vineyard on the top of the Barossa Ranges. The average yield was around 2 tonnes an acre.
The 2015/16 growing season started in the middle of a dry year in the Barossa. Rainfall was down and the resulting drier soils, combined with a warmer than average spring and early summer meant the vines got away at a cracking pace. January was less extreme than in previous years but without rain for most of the month, the grapes kept ripening quickly. Up to 30mm of rain fell in the last days of January, providing welcome refreshment for vines. Despite the challenges of the dry season, most vineyards ripened evenly and completely. The result overall was good but lower yields, with great flavours and colours (in reds) and surprisingly good natural acids.
Hand-harvested, the parcels of grapes were separately crushed and fermented. Fermented in 8-tonne open fermenters with daily pump-overs and use of heading down boards for maximum flavour extraction. Fermentation was completed in-tank, with the wine then matured 22 months in American oak.
The American oak has imparted soft leathery notes and subtle vanilla character, delicately enhancing the notes of forest berries, dark chocolate and sweet spice. The palate displays elegance and a finer tannin structure, ensuring longevity on the palate when paired with the wines subtle acid backbone.
Drinking well now even in its youth, but will impress for years to come.