Beautiful sparkling garnet shimmers in the glass. A nose of fresh plum, cedar, and pepper. Red fruits, plum, and macadamia compete to provide a satisfying juicy, dry wine backed by silky smooth tannins.
Comprised of a cool-climate oak barrel-aged shiraz blended with a lightly oaked Marsanne which was fermented with 3 yeasts to produce aromatics, flavour, and texture.
GraniteGrapes: I have long believed that a Viognier component in Shiraz isn’t a great match and this is especially true when the finished product displays some apricot flavours that contain some astringency. The purpose of the Viognier component is 4 fold.
To lift the fruit fragrances
To lift the fruit flavours
To lift the fruit colours
To produce a slight silkiness in the mouthfeel
So I was intrigued when I discovered that Stephen Oliver has made a Shiraz/Marsanne at Heritage Estate. Heritage have produced some excellent Marsanne wines over the years and also some great straight Shiraz from the vines in the Sundown Road Vineyard. So what might a collocation of the two produce with 10% Marsanne?
The wine in the glass is somewhat of a contradiction, it displays some expected deep dark shiraz colours as you approach the depths but it is quite light as you approach the meniscus with some sangiovese like colours and swirling reveals some pinkish hues – an interesting start!
The bouquet is deliciously fragrant and quite different, I don’t recommend you approach this wine with preconceptions of what shiraz ‘should’ be like. The shiraz redolences have been moved toward red fruit with bright red plums and possibly hints of rich raspberry, there is actually a little brioche like fragrance some oak and lightly roasted almonds.
The palate has a silky mouthfeel with a slight waxiness around the edges and with some definite acid and tannin drive through the middle. It tastes like a resolution between weight and elegance, it is highly unusual and immensely enjoyable. Red plums add a freshness accompanied by a slight raspberry tang then there is a transformation as a nuttiness is revealed and some tastes somewhat akin to honeyed pear, it is difficult to locate spice, perhaps a little white pepper.
I suspect that the team at Heritage had a lot of fun blending this wine and kudos to them for making it and showing us more possibilities in the intriguing world of wine.
Tasted: Saturday 22nd July, 2023 without food and then with over several hours.
Price: Pre-Release ?
Suggested Drinking Window: now to 2030
Winemakers: Stephen Oliver
Fruit Source: Sundown Road Vineyard