This is handmade wine at its finest. Lionel and Peder run their 13 acre vineyard by themselves. Controlling all the factors they can to allow the dry grown, low yielding vines to mature the grapes and provide the best raw materials they can for making wine. The vineyard made up of the red Cambrian soils that make Heathcote so special and is planted to predominantly Shiraz with some Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Tempranillo and Grenache. The winemaking involves a lighter touch a despite the grapes getting quite ripe, the wines are elegant, fine and subtle.
This HD Shiraz is a stunner. Mid-weight, blackberries, pepper, cloves, cherry a hint of vanilla oak and violets. The tannin profile is pronounced but well integrated with the silky fruit. The mouth feel of this wine is quite a highlight. It is still a bit tight and closed but will be less shy with decanting or if left until 2025 or later. The HD will suit plenty of red meat dishes but something game based would really set it off nicely.
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.
The year the drought broke in Heathcote. Good rains through winter and spring made for happy vineyards. Hail and late rains tried to spoil the party. But it was a long growing season that produced elegant and balanced wines of great purity.