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The Ironheart Shiraz is a blend of the best barrels from the most 'profound' block of Shiraz on the biodynamically grown Yangarra estate in McLaren Vale.
This, the most distinctive of the twelve blocks of Shiraz on the Yangarra vineyard, yields Shiraz fruit of immense concentration and complexity. The wine has an easy power and authority, a commanding presence and a wine built for great things in coming decades.
The 2014 roused The Wine Front's Campbell Mattinson to near rapture. In his impassioned 96 point review, Mattinson calls for the drinker to, "Go on a fitness kick, eat healthy, do your best to be around in 20 years. This is a shiraz for the ages." And with other resounding reviews such as 97 points from James Halliday and 95 points from Huon Hook, 2014 is one of the finest releases from Fraser and crew to date.
What it Tastes Like
"If you’re going to make a powerful statement then give it the scaffolding to endure. This is a McLaren Vale shiraz to reckon with. It’s inky with blackberried fruit flavour, it’s infused with saltbush, it’s sheeted with cedary oak and for all its luxury polish it roars Get Out Of My Way, I’m On The Way To The Future. This is a ship with long anchors of tannin. Go on a fitness kick, eat healthy, do your best to be around in 20 years. This is a shiraz for the ages." - Campbell Mattinson (The Wine Front)
97 points "The flagship shiraz with fruit off two blocks, 25% whole bunches, wild yeast, French oak 40% new, aged 15 months then a barrel selection. Quality control in check. It effortlessly reaches a depth of flavour and presence while retaining its verve. Smells of a spice shop next door to a baker, with the dark fruit in line with sprightly acidity and shapely if firm tannins. Stunning now, even brighter future." - James Halliday (Australian Wine Companion)
96 points "If you’re going to make a powerful statement then give it the scaffolding to endure. This is a McLaren Vale shiraz to reckon with. It’s inky with blackberried fruit flavour, it’s infused with saltbush, it’s sheeted with cedary oak and for all its luxury polish it roars Get Out Of My Way, I’m On The Way To The Future. This is a ship with long anchors of tannin. Go on a fitness kick, eat healthy, do your best to be around in 20 years. This is a shiraz for the ages." - Campbell Mattinson (The Wine Front)
96 points "This big, solid shiraz is built for cellaring and demands patience. With a saturated purple/red colour and walnut, bay leaf, dried herb and earth aromas, it’s very full-bodied and almost opulent, dense and bold in the mouth. Licorice and spice flavours and high extract." - Huon Hooke (The Real Review)
VINEYARD INFORMATION Block 15 (1.8 Ha) produces the most profound Shiraz of the 12 individual Shiraz blocks from the estate. Growing where the 56 million-year-old North Maslin Sandy geology comes to the surface, exposing the broken and weathered vivid red ironstone. The vines are spur pruned to approximated 24 buds per vine on a single cordon, and shoot thinned to the same number every spring. We use a vertical shoot positioned trellis, but allow approximately half the canopy to be left out in a controlled sprawl, giving us nice dappled light. When bunch closure is complete, we remove any leaves surrounding the bunches to ensure no shading of any fruit. The vineyard is certified Biodynamic (certification # 11587) with Australian Certified Organic. We have quite a practical approach, with our philosophy focused around healthy and alive soil, which involves no use of synthetic herbicides or fungicides, use of compost and biodynamic preparations, use of sheep in winter to graze under vine, and minimal mechanical soil disruption. REGION: Kangarilla, McLaren Vale VINE AGE: 19 years ELEVATION: 180m above sea level SOIL TYPE: Ironstone gravels VITICULTURALIST: Michael Lane WINEMAKING INFORMATION The fruit was hand-picked, 25% of those hand-picked bunches go straight to the open top fermenter. The remainder is 100% de-stemmed and mechanically berry-sorted, with only 50% of that crushed. 5 day cold soak at approximately 10 degrees. The wild fermentation is encouraged as the tank is warmed to approximately 20 degrees. We predominantly plunge, but do a daily rack and return during the peak of fermentation. No pressings are used. The wine is kept on the yeast lees for at least 12 months without any movement from barrel. We only use about 40% new French oak, and the remainder tends to be our best 1 and 2 year-old barrels. Not fined. Bottled in September 2015. Certified Biodynamic. ALCOHOL: 14.5% TA: 6.2 g/L pH: 3.50 PRODUCTION: 5784 bottles WINEMAKER: Peter Fraser & Shelley Torresan
Closure: Screw Cap
Bottle Size: 750ml
Drink Until: 2040
About the Producer
Yangarra Estate is one of a small group of powerhouse wineries to raise its head from the sandy soils of Blewitt Springs in McLaren Vale. Their wines are made entirely from an amazing old bush vine single vineyard, with the 2016 Halliday Winemaker of the Year, Peter Fraser, pulling the reins as winemaker. They are a certified biodynamic wine producer, and have even been named International Winery of the Year, twice!
They specialise in varieties found in the Rhone Valley. For reds, Grenache is their flag bearer, with Shiraz and Mourvedre not far behind. The same applies to whites, the Roussanne expressions from Fraser’s experimentation with ceramic eggs are some of the most interesting in the country. His takes on Viognier are as good as any in the land. In time, each of the 13 Rhone varieties will be grown on the Yangarra block. A premium benchmark for the Blewitt Springs sub-region.
The South Australian region of McLaren Vale is famous for its powerful red wines. Shiraz and Grenache have thrived for years in the Vale’s sandy soils. Nowadays, the region’s varietal diversity has majorly increased, the coastal location and warm climate proving perfect for a new wave of varieties from Italy, Spain and Portugal. The success of varieties such as Nero d’Avola, Tempranillo, Touriga Nacional, and Fiano has transformed McLaren Vale into one of the country’s most vibrant wine scenes. It’s where tradition meets innovation and it is producing some of the Australia’s finest wines.
Long held up to the rest of the world as Australia’s flagship red variety, the mighty Australian Shiraz has undergone something of a renaissance over the past two decades. While our robust styles of Shiraz from powerhouse South Australian regions such as the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale may have put Australian wine on the map, Shiraz from our cooler regions are giving the variety a new look. Wines from Canberra, all parts of Victoria, the Adelaide Hills, and the Great Southern, are all delivering wines of finesse and spice set to a lighter framework. The tapestry of Australian Shiraz is richly diverse, and will only continue to develop and mature into the future.
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