2017 was a cooler, milder and later vintage than the previous 10 years; a year of elegant, perhaps even slightly lighter bodied wines, though ripe in flavour, vibrant and very perfumed. Higher than average yields in combination with a cooler season contributed to delayed ripening of the fruit and good acid retention. With the cooler weather, canopy management and fruit thinning was imperative in delivering clean fruit of a high quality. Shiraz crops needed to be modified to get fruit ripe in the southern regions of Margaret River, we removed almost 40% of our fruit as the season progressed.
More medium bodied than previous vintages, Pinot-like winemaking techniques have given us a very different style of Shiraz than past vintages.
100% Margaret River Shiraz
Flametree Margaret River Shiraz
The 2017 Margaret River Shiraz is predominately a blend of two Margaret River vineyards, both in the Wallcliffe area. The Rosa Park and Chalice Bridge vineyards that make up this wine are planted on gravel laterite soils that have a history of growing moderate crops with good fruit concentration. Wallcliffe fruit shows licorice, plums, pepper, spice and red fruits, whilst the vineyards further north show more concentrated dark fruit flavours with a stronger tannin profile. Trickle irrigation was applied strategically at flowering, veraison and during heat spikes to maintain vine health, ensure physiological ripeness and prevent heat stress.
This is the second year using a portion of sun-dried stems, 20-30% whole bunch and some whole berries in the ferments; the idea was to get some additional perfume, structure and complexity into our Shiraz wines. More medium bodied than previous vintages, Pinot-like winemaking techniques have given us a very different style of Shiraz than past vintages. The whole bunch and sun-dried stem parcels were all wild fermented at cooler temperatures than previous vintages. This partial carbonic maceration introduces a vibrant, spicy red fruit component to the blend. After pressing, the batches were inoculated for MLF and then transferred into used French oak puncheons. After 9 months in oak the batches were blended and then bottled.
We’ve decided to style our wines more on a perfumed lighter style with greater
emphasis on elegance rather than power. The use of soft extraction techniques, cooler ferment temperatures and open fermenters has resulted in a wine with great perfume, dark fruit flavours and fine tannin structure. The palate has plenty of cherries, plums, scorched earth, liquorice and spice. The introduction of more stems and a larger percentage of wild ferment has given the wine greater complexity and added texture. Enjoy now or anytime over the next 5-10 years.