The Shiraz for Harkham mainly comes from two geographically distant main parcels. ‘FGH’ block close to the winery delivers punchy, dark and typically earthy fruit, and the ‘Tree’ block at Mount Broke that provides fragrant lift and fresh acidity. The wine is oaky, dark fruited, fragrant and supple. A nice blend of savoury and fresh with a long finish. It is very pleasing to drink and it completely avoids the nutty/mousy finish that some preservative free wines show. This will probably age for a few years but is delicious now. Pair with some pork and fennel sausage.
Without a background in the wine industry, but after much good wine over many years Richard purchased the winery buildings and land in 2008. Working with five local growers to ensure that his fruit is of the highest possible standard and using a talented winemaker to finish his vision.
All grapes are hand harvested and sorted three times. Fermentation uses indigenous yeasts and the wines are not adjusted in any way. Maturation for six to nine months in a mix of newer and older barrels and hogsheads before being bottled on the estate unfiltered.
Although it is historically very important to Australia. If you were planting Australia today from scratch you’d never even visit the Hunter. Rain almost every harvest and excessive heat mean hard work. But the results in the bottle show each year. Shiraz and Semillon are particular highlights.
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.