Pyrette Heathcote Shiraz is sourced from a vineyard near Colbinabbin on the Mount Camel Range. The specific parcel of vines this fruit comes from is at the highest block on deep red, rocky Cambrian soils on a cooler easterly facing slope. The picking date is carefully assessed in order to capture fruit vibrancy and freshness whilst also capturing the typical mouthfilling richness and length of the region. The wine is made in 1000 litre open vats, fermented with ambient yeast and matured in French barrels, 20% new. The yield, harvest date and winemaking are deliberately aimed at producing a wine of regional authenticity in a style highlighting fragrance, vitality, finesse and harmony.
Michael Dhillon says of 2012 “With the addition of 25% whole bunches to the ferments and the extremely kind 2012 season, this Pyrette is perhaps the most complex, intense, layered wine we have made from this vineyard. The fruit was in impeccable condition and the ferments moved along calmly and cleanly. As is the style, the alcohol is moderate at 13.5%, the ferments worked gently like the Pinot Noirs, the maturation in fine French oak and the resultant wine medium bodied and intense. The aromas of red and dark plum, spice, graphite and earth lead to a very fresh, smooth, intense and long palate. This wine will improve considerably over the next five years and hold well beyond that. It is pleasing to see the older wines maturing well. The 2002 and 2004 are superb today and the 2005 and 2006 are reaching a delicious middle age. Not old, not young. The 2007 and younger, whilst delicious now, still will gain complexity and harmony given a couple more years. My favourite of the young wines now is the delicious, complex 2011”
The glamour region of Victoria for lovers of big reds. And the core production is Shiraz and Cabernet with ‘guts’. But it is a region that offers a lot of diversity when you scratch the surface. The cooler southern parts border Macedon and make lovely aromatic wines. There is a lot of experimentation and adoption of more drought resistant Italian varieties to great effect too.
A bit of a chameleon, Shiraz can change how it looks depending on terroir and/or wine maker influence. The Syrah based wines of Northern Rhone are dry and austere while the Shiraz of Barossa is rich and fleshy. A variety that lends itself to long aging but can be drunk at any time of its evolution.