2019 Place of Changing Winds Heathcote Shiraz

Intriguing, multi-faceted Heathcote Syrah that builds and builds, gently and deliciously.

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Description

Australian Shiraz/ Syrah fans may have a new icon producer to follow, if you like your reds with elegance, complexity and incredible drinkability.

Place of Changing Winds is a Macedon-based project that focusses on densely-planted Pinot Noir and Chardonnay but this wonderful new Syrah release is from the cooler part of Heathcote.

Perfumed red fruits, lifted fresh spices lead into a gently dense palate and a dusty, long, evolving finish. If cherry drops could mature into adulthood and still give the same pleasure hit, this would be the result.

Both these wines come from the same single vineyard on the east-facing slopes of Colbinabbin in the northern Mount Camel Range subzone of Heathcote. The soils here are the famous ‘Cambrian soils’—red dirt made up of eroded basalt over limestone, shot through with greenstone and jasper.


The wines were grown organically, without any chemical inputs, and with minimal irrigation. This site is not owned by Place of Changing Winds, but they work very closely with the grower, the plot is managed to their specifications, and they determine the harvest date.


2019 has given us the finest POCW Heathcote Syrah so far, the product of ten years of trials and plenty of viticultural and winemaking evolution. From this same vintage and the same vineyard, is also the first Marsanne. This is a journey that is just beginning.

94 Points - The first thing that came to mind when I put my nose near this Heathcote syrah was concrete. I’m not sure that concrete really has a smell, or not dry concrete anyway, but nonetheless I scurried over to the tech sheet to see if concrete was involved. The wine was fermented in steel and concrete tank before going into large, neutral oak. It saw 100% whole bunches but it’s not overtly stemmy. The home of Place of Changing Winds is in the Macedon region; this syrah is from purchased grapes grown at Colbinabbin in Heathcote. It’s the 10th shiraz release (formerly known as Graillot). It’s the second release to be made entirely in the Place of Changing Winds cellar. It’s an incredibly fresh wine, both in style and in presentation. It’s juicy and refreshing, and for that alone it feels very different to the Heathcote norm. Intricate, lacy, fine-grained, grapey; all these words apply. Cherry, plum, sultana and boysenberry are all evident, as is earth, sweet spice, tobacco, meat and stem. It’s a wine with many positive but its best aspect is its finish, which curls out like smoke rising from an intensely defined source. We’re in good days now but better days yet are ahead. This is an elegant, intricate, filigreed delight

94 Points - "This wine is a product of a long running collab with Alain and Maxime Graillot, initially made by Luke Lambert, and is where Rob Walters began his wine producing journey. Today it's the team at Place of Changing Winds who make the wine. There's an amazing elegance to the palate, which is soft and smooth, without being jammy. It's a ripe, luxurious wine showing great promise, with a hint of meat and pepper savouriness alongside the ripe fruit. There's a sleek ripe side to the wine but also some good definition and focus. Very fine, doing a really difficult job of balancing ripeness and freshness really well.

Place of Changing Winds

The Place of Changing Winds vineyard was planted by notable Australian wine importer, journalist, and author, Rob Walters.

Rob had hunted for a special site to plant in the cooler climes of Australia for many years. One day, esteemed grower/winemaker at Bindi, Michael Dhillon, called him and said, "Rob, I've found your vineyard."

The site sits at 500m above sea level in the Macedon Ranges. Rob has farmed it organically from the start. Planted to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay at an incredible average of 15,000 vines per hectare, this is one of the most exciting emerging viticultural projects in the country.

New to the Place of Change of Winds range are wines from Heathcote high country, organically planted in collaboration with Rhone legend Alain Graillot. These delicious Syrahs, and a Marsanne for the first time from the 2019 vintage, were previously under the Graillot Australia label but are now fully vinified at Place of Changing Winds in Macedon.

Rob Walters at Place of Changing Winds Place of Changing Winds

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