Harvest Date 4 March 2015 | Alcohol 14.4%
Viognier 3% was added prior to ferment with some stalks ~5% added also to add to the complexity and provide some delicate floral notes and add to the colour. Grapes slowly fermented to dry over 3 weeks and softly pressed off skins, wine was then put through malolactic fermentation. Matured in 30% new, 70% 2yr-5yr old oak , 50% seasoned French hogsheads and 50% American oak for 15 months prior to blending and bottling.
The Shiraz was the second variety planted at Mt Pilot Estate in 1995. It was planted on two root stocks Paulsen and Rugarri. The rootstock, whilst selected for Phyloxera control, saved this part of the vineyard during drought of 2005 – 2009. The Shiraz clone is believed to be from a 1880 clone Shiraz that is known as a perennial high quality grape with low yields. The Shiraz have been able to survive for 5 years without irrigation in some of the hottest summers on record. The vines in 2015 cropped at 3000kg / Ha and are spur pruned with the west side of the canopy left to sprawl and the east side lifted with wires to let the morning sun in.
The 2015 vintage was remembered for the coolish start and a warmer end with some well timed rain in Jan. An early picking was experienced compared to previous vintages due to the even ripening and good spring soil moisture. The vintage supported some delicate fruit flavours with good Tannin and full flavour. Some supplementary irrigation was added. Yields were an average of 5 tonnes to the Hectare for Mt Pilot estate.
The Shiraz colour is a deep youthful hue of crimson red; the nose has a ripe fruit, with black berries and chocolate hints as well as some floral notes from the Viognier. There are some strong white pepper notes found in cool climate shiraz. There is some delicious spicy oak in significant dollops but it’s yummy oak and the palate has lots of richness, sweet fruit with less alcohol than previous vintages and wine make Marc Scalzo who has finessed the wine making. It’s a medium bodied wine as per the vintage but has sweet fruit and soft tannins as is de rigour at Mt Pilot Estate, it also has elegance and balance and is best enjoyed with dishes such as rack of lamb, pasta or veal.
A Good Vintage 2025
2015 Cabernet Sauvignon
Harvest Date 18 March 2015 | Alcohol 14.4%
Matured in 40% new and 60% 2yr – 5yr old seasoned French hogsheads for 18 months prior to blending and bottling.
The cabernet sauvignon was the first variety planted in 1995 at Mt Pilot Estate. It was planted on two root stocks Paulsen and Swartzman. The drought of 2005 – 2009 reduced the vines on swartzman however those planted on the Paulsen were able to survive for 5 years without irrigation in some of the hottest summers on record. The yields are very light and with the vines cropping at 2500kg / Ha. They are spur pruned with the west side of the canopy left to sprawl and the east side lifted with wires to let the morning sun in.
The 2015 vintage was remembered for the coolish start and a warmer end with some well timed rain in Jan. An early picking was experienced compared to previous vintages due to the even ripening and good spring soil moisture. The vintage supported some delicate fruit flavours with good Tannin and full flavour. Some supplementary irrigation was added. Yields were generally 2500 kg to the HA back to our long term average.
The Cabernet is a deep velvet burgundy colour with length and flavour. It has a full bodied concentrated palate with length, fruit sweetness and silky soft tannins. It is recommended to be served with red meat such as fillet of beef, steak, venison or slow cooked lamb shanks.
A Very Good Vintage to 2025, some cellaring will be rewarded.
2016 Viognier Chardonnay
Harvest Date 20th February 2016 | Alcohol 13.5%
Matured in 100% 3yr – 6yr year old French oak for 8 months. Wine barrel fermented and lees stirred and left on lees for an extended time. The wine was bottled nine months after harvest.
The Viognier was planted in the second development of the vineyard undertaken in 2000. Two hectares of the Yalumba clone Viognier were grafted onto two different varieties of rootstock, Swartzman and Paulsen. Unfortunately the Swartzman did not survive the severity of the extended drought from 2005 – 2009. An area of 1.5 Ha remains, with a replanting program to replace the area lost undertaken during spring 2010. The vines crop at 2800kg / Ha and are spur pruned with the west side of the canopy left to sprawl and the east side lifted with wires to let the morning sun in. Chardonnay was purchased from the Scalzo Vineyard in Beechworth and was picked at 12 Baume. The Chardonnay was added during vinification.
The 2016 growing season started well with good soil moisture and a very warm start to bud burst and then a relatively cool summer with well timed rain events with the vineyard looking very balanced between fruit and foliage. The ripening period was characterised by the mild nature of the ripening period from flowering to harvest , some irrigation was undertaken during the vintage and vines remained healthy and disease free.
In the end the vintage brought together a lot of varieties at the same time with overlap between the whites and reds in the region.
The Viognier grapes 66% where handpicked at 13.4 Baume on field flavour and wine potential. Of interest was the intense apricot flavours in the berries. The Chardonnay grapes 33% grown in the cool climates of the Beechworth region reached 12 Baume and were picked on flavour. A cool fermentation took ten days in old French barrels ensuring full extraction of flavour without picking up hard phenolics. The wine was left on lee’s in old barrels for ten months to concentrate its flavour and develop the rich generous palate and length evident in this wine. Minimal racking and filtration has preserved full flavour. This wine is rich in aromatics comprising of apricot, nectarine, and tinned peaches. The wine has long soft clean palate making for easy drinking. Chill when serving, cellar up to 8 years.
This wine is well suited to Asian style foods and fish.
A Very Good Vintage 2025