All hand-picked fruit, processing started with a 4-day cold soak then 4-5 day ferment at 26-28C. Three tonne open fermenters were used, enabling hand plunging twice per day. The wine was pressed off and run to oak, and the malolactic fermentation in barrel. For this wine, 100% French oak in larger format (500L) puncheons were used.
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 Road 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 began, 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.
This is a new Single Vineyard, block specific Shiraz from the Graveyard Vineyard. This particular block sits on the southern end by the McDonald’s Road and Thompson’s Road corner. The wine derived its name after being replanted several times over the last 35 years, resulting in a lot of money being put into it, just like a trip to Las Vegas. We were very tempted to label it “Vega$” with the dollar sign for fun.