Part vinomatic and part open top 2-4 tonne fermenters. The latter plunged two times per day. After 5 days, pressed off, with malolactic fermentation conducted in tank. The wine then went into 100% French oak made up of 25% puncheons and overall 25% new oak. The Shiraz grapes are sourced solely from the Graveyard Vineyard, being clonal vines planted through the 90s and massale selection from the 1968 plantings, with the oldest at 10 years of age.
For Hunter Valley grape growers, pre-vintage discussion is all about the weather. In recent years harvest has been in full swing by the second week of January, however not so for 2016. Wet and cloudy conditions meant later ripening on most varieties. The Hunter Valley went back to its typical dry winter with no significant rain recorded between 23rd May and 24th August 2015. Major rainfall wasn’t received until the first 2 weeks of December (121mm) but accompanied a hailstorm on the 10th. This basically cut a
swath right through the middle of Pokolbin with the south of Mount View and north of Deasy’s Rd escaping.
Another storm went through a week later bringing the months total up to 181mm and the yearly rainfall to 1051mm, well above the average of 720mm. January saw records set for rainfall with Brokenwood recording 338mm and then the tap was turned off. Like 1990, the rain ceased once February begun, which helped the Shiraz immensely. With the dry weather, the colour and flavour bounced back within 10 days. Handpicking this fruit has resulted in fine, fragrant Shiraz.
Veal, duck and cheese.
Very enjoyable over the medium term, and will reward long term cellaring.