2016 Dominique Portet Shiraz
Due to the heat we had the earliest harvest on record for us in Heathcote, where we started picking grapes on February 16th. We sorted the bunches before destemming the majority with state-of-the-art equipment that ensures only totally healthy fruit goes into the ferment. A portion was crushed and a portion was fermented as whole berries. A total of about 20% whole bunches were included for heightened spice and freshness. The must was fermented at cool temperatures 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 13 months, bottling a little earlier to retain freshness, in tightgrained French oak (15% new) split between barriques (20%) and puncheons (80%). We find that adding puncheons to the mix allows the oak to integrate better, as well as preserving fresh fruit purity.
Fresh and frisky but meaty and flavoursome. Silken too. This is an excellent shiraz. Coffee grounds, sweet spices, robust black cherries and plums. It remains lively and alert even as it bangs out the flavour. Tannin is ultra-fine and assertive at once. Length is excellent. This is a most impressive red wine.
94 points, Campbell Mattinson Winefront, July 2018