Region: Hunter Valley
Background: ‘Terracotta’ wines get their name from the soils on which the fruit is grown. These red clay soils are renowned for their low fertility thus reducing the yield of the vine and increasing fruit concentration.
Named Shiraz from 2000 to 2010, the name has been changed to Syrah to better describe the style of the ‘Terracotta’ red which has always included the white variety Viognier.
Fruit source: The Worthington’s ’Leonard Estate’ old-vine shiraz vineyard on Palmers Lane in Pokolbin.
Fermentation: 1.5% Viognier fruit was added to the Shiraz and allowed to co-ferment in 2 tonne open vats. 60% whole bunches were also included.
Maturation: When fermentation had ceased, the wine was then pressed out and transferred into 100% new French oak Puncheons and matured for 22 months
Winemaker’s comments: 2011 was an exceptional Hunter Valley vintage, particularly for Shiraz. The months of January through March were very dry and warm, perfect conditions for Shiraz.
Tasting note: The highly perfumed nose is lifted by the small Viognier addition, which also adds a glossiness to the deep red colour. Dark spectrum berry fruit, hints of spice and dark chocolate are prominent on the nose. The palate has a medium-bodied depth of flavour with tannins that are smooth and supple giving the wine a silky long finish.
Cellaring estimate: Medium term.
Suggested food match: Most red meat based cuisine.
What the experts say:
“Open-fermented with a little viognier; 22 months maturation in French hogsheads (30% new); name change from Shiraz to Syrah. What Hell Hole has in power, this has in finesse; red fruit notes are balanced with positively silky tannins.”
Rated : 95 Points
James Halliday – 2015 Wine Companion
“A single-vineyard wine from Leonard Estate, with deep, smoky, toasted-fruit Hunter regional shiraz bouquet. It’s smooth and supple with intense mellow flavour, lashings of tannin and a fleshy texture. Delicious flavour; very long carry. A serious, cellarworthy shiraz.”
Huon Hooke – SMH Good Living 25th March 2013
“Deep garnet-purple in color and full of cassis, wild blueberries and crushed plum aromas with chocolate box and violet hints, the generously fruited, medium to full-bodied 2011 Terracotta Shiraz gives tons of ripe, black fruit flavors supported by medium levels of finely grained tannin set aside just enough acidity. It finishes long with some floral and spice nuances coming through. Drink it now to 2021+.”
Rated : 92+
Lisa Perrotti-Brown – The Wine Advocate #213 – Jun 2014Download pdf