Over the past 5 years Shiraz has taken up plenty of time amongst our team. Recognising that our fruit produces a fragrant, dense yet medium bodied and complex style, we have been working to try and capture and respect those features in the final wines.
Fermentation with whole berries and some whole bunches as well as some major changes to our oak program over time as well. We have found that for maturation of our wines we need to be very careful with our oak to ensure it doesn't smother and compete with the fruit, which has led us to use very little (and in many cases none) new oak on our Shiraz wines. Further to this we have been increasing the size of the oak vessels we use, moving away from barriques (228L) and hogsheads (300L) to use almost entirely Puncheons (500L), Demi Muid (600L) and large Foudres (2500L & 3000L). The result for us are wines which better respect and reflect the Forest Hill Vineyard, showing more fruit purity & complexity. Hopefully a feeling shared by you!
We have also been very busy planting some new sites, in particular a 2.5 hectare planting with a Northern aspect on a hill running down to the Hay River. The soil varies over the site but is classic Mount Barker Jarrah & Marri country hosting high gravel content, loam over dark red clays. A really exciting site which we have planted at higher density with 4 different clones of Shiraz including our Block 9 heritage vines and new clones Waldron, 470 and 174. First harvest looks to be in 2022/2023 and we cant wait!