Old world savoury Tempranillo meets new world vibrant fleshy flavoursome Shiraz in this new interpretation of a classic Australian wine style.
Vibrant red/black colour with a deep opaque centre.
The nose displays a complex blend of violets and spicy black pepper notes of the Shiraz with the more savoury liquorice aromas from the Tempranillo.
Shiraz and Tempranillo are wonderful partners; two old varieties coming together to make a new vibrant blend. The Shiraz brings all the Australian fruit power, deep plum flavours with a peppery edge in a fleshy fruit sweet palate. The Tempranillo adds savoury elements and complex tannin structure to the wine resulting in a more complete wine than either of the two components could make on their own. This wine has all the sweet fleshiness that we expect in Shiraz with the added benefit of textural complexity.
It can get a bit repetitive describing vintages in Margaret River, our lesser vintages are still pretty good and our good vintages are just perfect. 2018 will, I believe, be proven to be in time one of the great vintages. Season 2018 can be described in short as ‘dry and mild’. The growing of fine wine grapes requires lots of good sunshine but not necessarily lots of heat. Hot weather will certainly aid the development of sugar but it seems to have very little to do with the development of all the desirable things like colour, aromas, flavours and tannins. So in fact milder seasons with good sunshine but cooler temperatures are usually the best; maximizing the development of aromas and flavours without ending up with high alcohols and over ripe jammy fruit characters. It was an early start, perhaps a bit surprisingly considering a very mild spring and start of summer. The weather records will show that the summer months of February and March in the South West of WA were generally fine, very little rain and with no days over 40°, in fact at Hay Shed Hill we had no days over 35°. The mild weather allowed even, gradual ripening and moderate accumulation of sugar, ideal conditions for the key varieties.
Both Shiraz and Tempranillo were de-stemmed and fermented separately in open vessels with extensive pump over cap management to aid colour and flavour extraction as well as optimize the tannin development. The wines were pressed off skins and matured in French oak barriques, approximately one-third new oak with the balance one and two year old. After 15 months in barrel the wines were blended according to taste.
We have worked with Michael Kerrigan for more than 25 years, and we are continually impressed with his talent and capacity for reinvention. The former winemaker at Howard Park and Madfish, Michael struck out on his own when his dream vineyards in the key quality region of Wilyabrup came up for sale. With more than 30 years of winemaking under his belt, and 12 years going solo with Hay Shed Hill, this man is one of the most experienced, respected and revered winemakers in Australia - and rightly so. He is also a strong purveyor of classically blunt Aussie pearls of wisdom: “It’s all in the detail - you quite simply visit the vineyard every day. I’m not interested in being epic, I just want to make wine I like to drink”. He likens Margaret River’s climate to “Bordeaux in a perfect year”, and attributes the region’s success to its maritime climate, meaning a low diurnal range, very important in a country that is known for its extremes in temperature, and pretty much everything else!
Michael produces wines under two labels - the entry-level ‘Pitchfork’ range and the estate, single vineyard ‘Hay Shed Hill’ wines. The Pitchfork range represents unprecedentedly good value considering that all of the grapes are grown in Margaret River – very unusual for a wine at the entry-level from this region, and yet another example of Michael’s commitment to quality over all else. There are 4 lip smackingly good, everyday wines in this range. Everything under the Hay Shed Hill label is single-vineyard, which Michael explains: “I make single vineyard and single block wines because they express a particular character – otherwise what’s the point?” All of the vines are dry-farmed and made from free-run juice only. The vineyards are around 20 years old and they are all farmed organically, but without certification. The Chardonnay sees 25% new oak and represents the ‘modern Australian Chardonnay’, in the words of its maker.
|Cultivar||86% Shiraz, 14% Tempranillo|
14.5% alc vol
|Units of Alcohol per Bottle||10.9 units|
|Cellaring Potential||For immediate enjoyment|
|Allergen Information||Contains sulphites|