The pedigree and provenance of the Shiraz vineyards at Hutton Vale Farm is impressive. The ‘old’ block was planted in the 1960s with cuttings taken from the nearby Mount Edelstone vineyard. 50 years or more down the track, the old dry grown vines continue to survive, the dry conditions a perfect foil for the natural vigour of Shiraz. The ‘young’ block was planted to the East in the 1990s on a sloping site in a similarly tough environment, using cuttings taken from the ‘old’ block.
The 2013 vintage was the driest, earliest and quickest in living memory. 2012 winter and spring rainfalls were amongst the driest on record and hot conditions throughout harvest guaranteed very low yields from the dry grown Hutton Vale Farm vineyards. But the quality of Shiraz was exceptional, showing great color and balance of flavour, tannin and acidity. The fruit was harvested in early March and fermented in open fermenters for 5 days with twice daily pump overs before transfer to 50% new/ 50% seasoned oak hogsheads for 2 years prior to bottling. The wines were bottle matured for a further 12 months before release in September 2016. 340 dozen bottles were made.
There’s plenty of dark red and black fruits, whole black pepper spice and herbs on the nose. The palate is brimming with brooding dark red fruits and salty-savoury liquorice notes that characterise Shiraz from this area. The finish is seamless, fine and long. Shiraz from Hutton Vale Farm has proven cellaring pedigree and I expect these wines to evolve over the next 25 years.