The 2018 vintage was hot and dry and resulted in an early harvest with relatively low yields. The fruit for this Shiraz came from the eastern block on the southern side of the JohannesBurg Vineyard. It was machine harvested on the night of the 7 February from about 8pm. This was the first vintage for the Johannes family and they worked through the night with Neil Stevens and Graeme Lewis to pick the fruit. We were expecting approximately 5 tonnes of fruit but only received 3.9 tonnes due to the low yields and even after taking an additional couple of rows from the next block over.
The fruit was taken back to the winery on Wilderness Road and placed in the capable hands of winemaker, Ashley Horner, and his two trusty sidekicks Michael and Callan. The fruit sat overnight before being cold soaked and crushed into open air fermenters. The fruit was extremely concentrated and had beautiful, vibrant colour. The ferment was closely monitored and was pumped over for 15-20 minutes morning and night. Once fermented, the wine was pressed off into two new DAMY medium+ toasted French Oak Puncheons with the remaining wine going into 6 x older Saury French Oak barriques. The wine sat on oak for approximately 11 months and was bottled on 27 February, 2019.
This Shiraz is very approachable now with cherries and raspberry flavours dominant on the nose and palate. It is quite an elegant wine with plenty of fresh fruit flavours balanced nicely with toasty oak. We believe the wine is of exceptional quality and is only the third red to be released with a black label.
Another big thanks to Ash, Lauren, Michael and Ken for the 2018 Vintage.