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 ’Lochleven Estate’ old-vine shiraz vineyard on Deasys Road in Pokolbin.
Fermentation: 2% Viognier fruit was added to the Shiraz and allowed to co-ferment in 2 tonne open vats. 40% whole bunches were also included.
Maturation: When fermentation had ceased, the wine was then pressed out and transferred into 33% new French oak Puncheons and matured for 17 months.
Winemaker’s comments: Excess rainfall in 2015 prevented a release of ‘Hell Hole’ , ‘Terracotta’ and ‘Alexander Munro’ Shiraz, so 2016 was a welcome relief. Whilst not completely trouble free, the Valley’s older vineyards, with their deep roots produced high quality grapes if well managed. 2016 will be termed a ‘classic’ vintage.
Tasting note: The vivid glossy crimson colour is an indicator to the lovely ripe plum and blueberry fruit aromas present. On the palate, medium-bodied dark fruit flavours dominate, with some supporting spicy oak nuances. A lovely mouthfeel is kept fresh with fine balanced acidity.
Cellaring estimate: Medium term.
Suggested food match: Most red meat based cuisine.