2014 Dominique Portet Shiraz
These days we set out to pick the Heathcote Shiraz relatively early, which gives a lovely brightness to the fruit that nicely offsets the intensity and power that the region naturally bestows. The 2014 growing season was slightly milder than the previous year, allowing us to harvest the fruit in mid-March with really good, ripe tannins.
100% Shiraz grapes were picked by hand, sorted and the majority destemmed with state-of-the-art equipment that ensures only totally healthy fruit goes into the ferment. About 10% whole bunches were also included for heightened perfume and freshness. The must was fermented in stainless steel tanks for three weeks in order to build silky tannins and develop the structure to age. We then matured the wine for 14 months in tight-grained French oak barrels, of which 20% were new.
Freshness is the new mantra and here is a fine example. Both the aromas and flavours feel eager to express their opinion. Smoky oak is laced through pure black cherry and plum-like fruit. Undergrowth notes are suggested at. So too a roasted nut character. So too brambly, anise-like spice. It’s an eager beaver of a red in general though tannin, fine-grained, makes sure that it doesn’t get too carried away. You can almost see the winemaker smiling over this one. It has everything exactly where it should be.
94 points. Campbell Mattinson, Winefront, 2017