Harvest Date 18th February 2017 | Alcohol 14.2% | Standard Drinks 8.4
Marc Scalzo and Jonathon Thompson
Viognier 3% was added prior to fermentation to add complexity and provide some delicate floral notes whilst deepening the colour. Grapes were 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 French oak for 20 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 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 2017 vintage was remembered for the wet winter and spring rains, always welcome at Mt Pilot, with the rain tailing off as December approached. Summer was a medium one of average temperature with a few days over 40C. Yield 3 tonnes/ha 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 Shiraz is a deep rich dark moody red, the nose has a ripe fruit, with blackberry and chocolate hints as well as some floral notes from the Viognier. There are some strong pepper notes found reflecting the cooler summer although people say we have a cooler climate which is reflected in the freshness of the wine. There is some delicious spicy oak in significant dollops but its yummy oak and the palate has lots of richness, sweet fruit with less alcohol than previous vintages. 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 2034