“An exciting project, 10 years in the making”
Harvest Date 24th February 2016 | Alcohol 14.6%
Marc Scalzo and Jonathon Thompson
Matured in 100% new – 1yr year old Fine French oak for 20 months. The wine was wild fermented after a cool soak under 28c for 10 days, Viognier 3% was added prior to ferment with some stalks ~5% added to add to the wine complexity and provide some delicate floral notes with lifted colour.
The Shiraz was the second variety planted at Mt Pilot Estate in 1995. It was planted on two root stocks Paulsen and Ruggeri. 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 an 1880 clone that is known as a perennial high quality grape with low yields. The Shiraz has been able to survive for 5 years without irrigation in some of the hottest summers on record. The vines in 2016 cropped at 3000kg /ha and are spur pruned with the west side of the canopy left to sprawl and give protection from the afternoon sun and the east side lifted with wires to let the morning sun in. The Reserve was picked from the extreme top of the hill block from thin granite soils and judicious watering.
The 2016 vintage was remembered for the coolish start and a relatively mild summer with little rain occurring over the period of bud burst to harvest, it was one of the few summers with 1-2 days over 40oC some sort of a record. Most grape varieties prefer a mild summer without too much extreme heat. Picking reverted back to average for the vineyard with the spring soil moisture setting up the canopy to provide enough shade to protect the fruit. The mild summer supported the development of some wonderful varietal flavours and mouth-watering soft tannins. Some supplementary irrigation was added.
The Reserve Shiraz is a celebration of the almost perfect summer conditions for growing Shiraz, with 2 days over 40⁰C which must almost be a first for North East Victoria providing the ideal conditions for shiraz maturity . Great leaf health provided the shade for the bunches to ripen slowly and evenly, no stress or shrivel sometimes experienced with extremes in heat. The berries where small and provided great flavours typifying shiraz from a mild summer tasting notes include chocolate, black pepper, expresso and floral notes from the Viognier. This is almost the perfect year for the variety at the Mt Pilot Estate Vineyard with an early decision made to produce a Reserve.
A Very Good Vintage 2033