Background: Pinot has been blended into Shiraz in the Hunter Valley for decades by some of its top producers. There is now a resurgence in the blend with many labels again available.
Fruit Source: Shiraz from the Upper Hunter ‘James Estate’ (picked 15/2/17) and Pinot Noir (picked 5/2/17), from the Kindred family’s, ‘Lochleven’ Estate which was planted in 1973, on the corner of Deasys and McDonalds Roads in Pokolbin.
Fermentation: Fruit from both vineyards were hand-picked and fermented separately in open vats and plunged twice daily. Prior to bottling in July 2018, both parcels were blended together. The ratio is 50% Shiraz and 50% Pinot Noir.
Maturation: Maturation was for 16 months in 25% new French oak Puncheons. The other 75% oak was 1—3 years old French oak Puncheons.
Winemaker’s comments: A hot dry 2017 vintage made Hunter Valley winemakers very happy after two wet vintages. The hottest day in Pokolbin was 47 degrees, with many days above 40. Great weather for ripening all red varieties, albeit a very early harvest.
Tasting note: Light but bright crimson in colour. Red berries including raspberry and mulberry feature on the nose and palate, where there is the slightest hint of strawberry as well. The flavour is clean, wonderfully medium-bodied with enviable length and poise.
Cellaring estimate: Medium term (up to 10 years).
Suggested food match: Lamb, Duck, lean Beef and Salmon for the adventurous.