The 2016 Port Phillip Estate Shiraz is a single site wine produced from 0.53 hectares of estate vineyard.
September 2015 welcomed the beginning of budburst leading to a dry and warm spring. October was 3 degrees above the average temperature and El Niño affected the amount of rain we received. Vine vigour was controlled due to the lack of rainfall with the canopy generous and open. Fruitfulness was up from the previous vintage and flowering and fruit set occurred unhindered. Veraison commenced in early January.
The period between January and mid-March was warmer than historically usual and harvest began at the same time in February as recent vintages. Conditions remained very dry and warm throughout the harvest period, it was a compact vintage finishing in mid-March. The viticultural team worked steadily throughout harvest and delivered healthy and energetic fruit, with ripeness and acidity well balanced.
The fruit, including a small amount of whole bunches, was fermented spontaneously with ambient yeasts in an open top stainless steel fermenter for 20 days. Malolactic fermentation was indigenous and the period of elévage was 16 months in old French oak barriques. This wine was bottled without fining or filtration.
This deeply coloured Shiraz delivers a powerful bouquet of black and red fruits, dried herbs and delicate cedar notes. The energetic palate contains a core of lush fruit that is aptly supported by fine graphite tannin. The finish is long and intense, highlighted with bright cranberry and aniseed flavours. Approachable now but will reward medium term cellaring.
It sees whole bunches, it’s wild yeast fermented, it’s from a tiny patch of estate vineyard, and it’s bottled unfined and unfiltered. Ultra fine tannin. Boysenberry and black cherry flavours. Nutty oak, overlaid with cream. And stretches of black pepper and dried bunches of herbs. It’s ripe but fluid, clearly influenced by whole bunches but essentially fruit driven, and then ribbed with spice-studded tannin. Cool climate shiraz, and indeed whole bunch shiraz, will need to be your ‘go’ but it’s an excellent example of this style of wine.