A dry winter led into an early spring with good rainfall over the period up until the new year. January and February were hot and dry and warmer than average. The vintage was fast paced with an extended hot spell during late February and March accelerating ripening. Shiraz performed well with the overall quality very good, all down to making sure we got our picking times right (earlier than average) - capturing the fruit at the right moment. A true vigneron’s vintage.
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.
|Aspect||North facing slope, westerly inclination|
|Soil||Rich and deep red clay topsoil over bedrock. Ancient Cambrian green stones visible|
|Barrel||11 months. 500L French oak puncheons. 30% new|
The grapes were hand picked. The wine is made up of two batches – batch 1 was fermented in traditional stainless steel open fermenters with 100% whole bunches. Batch 2 was fermented in French oak cuves with 20% whole bunches. Batch 1 makes up 40% of the blend (3 barrels) and batch 2 makes up 60% (4 barrels). The wines were then pressed and transferred into 500L French oak puncheons for malolactic fermentation. Racked twice during maturation, bottled February 2020.
Beautifully fragrant and perfumed, with violets, red berry fruits and loads of spice. The palate is wonderfully poised and vibrant, concentrated and detailed, with the silkiest texture and length. Classic F block, powerful but a silky and fine, long finish.