The 2017 vintage in Heathcote was characterised by a long, cooler than average growing season, producing wines with great detail and structure. A relatively cold winter was followed by a cool and dry spring. The cool, dry and consistent conditions prevailed throughout summer, resulting in a later than average harvest date in early March 2017.
The Heathcote Estate vineyard was planted in 1999 and is situated on Drummond's Lane, bordering the well-known Jasper Hill Emily’s Paddock Vineyard.
The vineyard is planted on the slightly undulating, north-facing country on the ancient Cambrian soils which define the heart of the region. This is classic Heathcote terrain - rich red-brown top soil of variable depth, but on average 15 centimetres lying above a sub-soil of clay, small rocks, ‘greenstones’, quartz and rubble.
This is scarcely fertile country, but it is ideal for vines as it has excellent water-holding capacity, without promoting too much vigour. The vast majority of the vineyard is planted to Shiraz (72 acres), with just one block of grenache. There are five clones of shiraz planted - BVRC12, BVRC30, ESA3021, PT23, SA1654, SA1127.
Winemaking is essentially a pretty simple process and there is much talk these days about winemakers who ‘do nothing’. That doesn’t particularly make much sense to us, do nothing, get nothing. We like to describe it more like minimal intervention. A combination of intervening when required, but also backing off when we let nature run it’s course.
It is an evolution and philosophy that we are continually refining and tweaking. This results in subtle modifications of our techniques, such as increased use of whole bunches in the ferments, maturation in large 6,500L oak vats and 500L French oak barrels and shorter barrel ageing times.
Harvested: 16 - 28 March
Clones: BVRC12, BVRC30, ESA3021, PT23, SA1654, SA1127
Soil: Rich, red top soil of variable depth, lying above a sub-soil of clay, small rocks, ‘greenstones’, quartz and rubble.
Barrel: 11 months. 500L French oak puncheons. Some parcels aged in 6250L cuves. 20% new
Our five individual blocks and their various sections where handled separately in the winery and vintage 2017 created 14 unique batches of wine. The grapes were fermented in a combination of traditional open and closed fermenters after gentle destemming, with some batches receiving whole bunches. The wines were then pressed and transferred into French Oak barrels for malolactic fermentation – majority 500L hogsheads, some 300L puncheons and some parcels aged in traditional 6250L cuves. Racked twice during maturation, bottled February 2018.
Lifted perfume with layers of red and black fruits. Pristine and poised with floral notes, tar, gun flint and exceptional concentration and purity. The palate is seamless and fine, loaded with fruit texture and tightly packed savoury tannins.