The 2008 vintage growing season was defined by below average rainfall. Organic mulch applications and soil moisture monitoring assisted strong vine canopy growth on the Balthazar vineyard so that the Shiraz crop was only 10% below average yield. Harvest was three weeks early, with the House Block parcel picked February 20 and the Hill Block component harvested February 28, luckily, just before a sustained two week heatwave in early March.
The 2 parcels of House & Hill block shiraz grapes were vinified separately in small, open-top fermenters for 7 days, being pumped over twice daily.
Racked into premium 33% new and 66% seasoned French oak barrels, the 2 components were matured for 23 months before blending and bottling in December 2009 to ensure bottle maturation before retail release.
Colour: Deep purple-crimson
Nose: Concentrated blackberry and plum with chocolate/ mocha nuance
Palate: Generous red berry fruit flavours and spice emerging through the rich and complex palate with firm tannins supporting the lingering flavours.
Vital Statistics: ALC 14.9% | pH: 3.52 | Ta: 7.67 | RS: 3.3 g/L
“Dense purple-crimson; harvested late February (well prior to the heat) and matured for 23 months in predominantly French oak; very luscious and rich, awash with blackberry and prune fruit;......” James Halliday Australian Wine Companion. Reviewed 11/08/2011