The 2016 Port Phillip Estate Shiraz is a single site wine produced from 0.53 hectares of estate vineyard.
September 2015 welcomed the beginning of budburst leading to a dry and warm spring. October was 3 degrees above the average temperature and El Niño affected the amount of rain we received. Vine vigour was controlled due to the lack of rainfall with the canopy generous and open. Fruitfulness was up from the previous vintage and flowering and fruit set occurred unhindered. Veraison commenced in early January.
The period between January and mid-March was warmer than historically usual and harvest began at the same time in February as recent vintages. Conditions remained very dry and warm throughout the harvest period, it was a compact vintage finishing in mid-March. The viticultural team worked steadily throughout harvest and delivered healthy and energetic fruit, with ripeness and acidity well balanced.
The fruit, including a small amount of whole bunches, was fermented spontaneously with ambient yeasts in an open top stainless steel fermenter for 20 days. Malolactic fermentation was indigenous and the period of elévage was 16 months in old French oak barriques. This wine was bottled without fining or filtration.
This deeply coloured Shiraz delivers a powerful bouquet of black and red fruits, dried herbs and delicate cedar notes. The energetic palate contains a core of lush fruit that is aptly supported by fine graphite tannin. The finish is long and intense, highlighted with bright cranberry and aniseed flavours. Approachable now but will reward medium term cellaring.
Smoky, spicy, reductive shiraz, won't be for everyone but the silken mid-palate and insistence of flavour and tannin through the finish will woo many. Light on its feet but surprisingly powerful.
Cold fried onion like reduction, hence the need for a decant to open the wine up. The palate is well constructed, silky medium bodies tannins and medium long with roasted meats dark savoury flavours.
This is, I think, a good example of what Mattinson calls an ‘Enthusiast’s Wine’.
Open last night very sullen, stinky and reductive, so I left it well alone. A day later and the perfume has come out, and the wine looks much better. Black fruit, char grilled meat heavy with cracked pepper, lavender perfume. Medium bodied, distinctly meaty and spicy, with well packed fine grained tannin, even acidity and a spray of herbs and more char grilled meat on the finish. It has fruit, but it’s pretty dry and confronting. Almost bitter amaro herb and smokiness in the aftertaste. Hard to rate, but will surely push the buttons of some.