2022 Thomas Wines Sweetwater Ridge Shiraz

Highly Rated
The first remarkable release from Thommo's latest Shiraz vineyard.

Price:
Sale price$42.00
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In stock, ready to ship

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Description

Andrew Thomas is renowned for his Shiraz and Semillon, sourced from the best vineyards in Hunter Valley. In 2017, Thommo began sourcing grapes from the Ridgeview Estate, adjacent to the original Sweetwater vineyard we used for many years (it was sold in 2016).

The 2022 Sweetwater Ridge Shiraz represents the first vintage from this new vineyard. These vineyards are situated literally just over the fence from each other, both planted in 1998 almost certainly with the same clone (1654) of Shiraz. The red/brown loamy soils over limestone found in this area tend to provide a distinctive floral lift and complexity to Shiraz. 

This Shiraz boasts a fragrant nose of fresh flowers, raspberry conserve, and five-spice, complemented by ripe mulberry, damson plum, and sour cherry. On the palate, it’s charming and luscious, featuring boysenberry and black plum with varietal black-pepper spice.

Awarded a trophy and gold medal at the 2023 Hunter Valley Boutique Wine Show, as well as 96 points by Toni Paterson, the 2022 Sweetwater Ridge Shiraz is stunning value and a modern interpretation of Hunter Shiraz.

96 points
"A cracking wine, bold yet energised with vibrancy, clarity and verve. Fabulous mulberry, dark cherry and chocolate flavours with fragrant star anise. A fabulous modern interpretation of Hunter shiraz with fastidious winemaking on display. Stunning value."
- Toni Paterson (Halliday Wine Companion)

Winemaker's Comments

Since our very first vintage 28 years ago, I've been very fortunate to have established long-term relationships with some of the most amazing growers in the Hunter Valley, and this has been absolutely core to the success of our brand. Unfortunately, not actually owning all the vineyards that we make wine from comes with the inherent risk of losing access to those grapes.

In 2016, what we have come to know as the 'Sweetwater' vineyard was sold. The new owner and I did not exactly see eye to eye pretty much from the outset, and over the next few years we had a legal stoush over the 'Sweetwater' trademark (which we all know was only made significant by our great work and wines since that vineyard was planted in 1998). The end of my relationship with this vineyard was clearly and unfortunately inevitable.

Fortunately, I could see the writing on the wall, so I commenced my contingency plan in 2017. Darren and Tracey Scott own the adjacent property, Ridgeview Estate at the very end of Sweetwater Road. We have been sourcing grapes from this fantastic vineyard since 2017 with the very first bottling of a single vineyard wine (labeled as Belford Shiraz) happening in that very first vintage.

The Belford Shiraz has been extremely well received over the years, particularly amongst our members and in the 2022 vintage this vineyard has finally taken centre stage as our prime Sweetwater offering. We have decided to label the wine as 'Sweetwater Ridge' from this vintage forward to be completely transparent with the change of vineyards.

These vineyards are situated literally just over the fence from each other, both planted in 1998 almost certainly with the same clone (1654) of Shiraz. The red/brown loamy soils over limestone found in this area tend to provide a distinctive floral lift and complexity to Shiraz.

This vineyard was our very first Shiraz pick of the vintage (and interestingly also the ripest) on the 17th of February. Hand-picked, destemmed, but not crushed, the whole berry fermentation commenced after a 24-hour cold soak. At the end of a ten day fermentation on skins, the wine was pressed off into a selection of new, one, two and three-year-old premium French oak 300L Hogsheads for maturation.

The wine spent 13 months in oak before our final blending decisions, with only the very best barrels going to this wine (and a few to our '22 Elenay Shiraz blend). Bottled in June 2023 and rested for 11 months prior to release in May 2024

Trophy - 2023 Hunter Valley Boutique Wine Show (Best One-Year-old Shiraz)
Gold Medal - 2023 Hunter Valley Boutique Wine Show

Tasting Notes

Deep glossy purple colour with a flamboyantly fragrant nose hinting at fresh flowers, raspberry conserve and five-spice, alongside ripe mulberry, damson plum and sour-cherry.

A charming palate of luscious boysenberry, black plum like fruit notes with varietal black-pepper spice. There are hints of roast coffee, blackberry liqueur, dried vanilla and cola from time in deluxe oak. This is a long and layered wine with a unique silken texture and an irresistible personality.

Delicious drinking now, but will reward some medium-term cellaring
Drink 2024 - 2030+

Trophy - 2023 Hunter Valley Boutique Wine Show (Best One-Year-old Shiraz)

96 points - "A cracking wine, bold yet energised with vibrancy, clarity and verve. Fabulous mulberry, dark cherry and chocolate flavours with fragrant star anise. A fabulous modern interpretation of Hunter shiraz with fastidious winemaking on display. Stunning value." - Toni Paterson (Halliday Wine Companion)

Thomas Wines

Andrew Thomas is a modern-day legend in the Hunter Valley, crafting some of the region's greatest wines for over three decades. His personal label is regarded as a benchmark winery, with a focus on premium Shiraz and Semillon— the Hunter Valley's hero varieties. Thomas has access to some of the region’s best vineyards, allowing him to create wines that truly capture the essence of the Hunter.

Originally from McLaren Vale, Thommo moved to the Hunter Valley to join the winemaking team at Tyrrell's Wines. After 13 years, he ventured out to develop his own label, making single-vineyard wines that highlight the subtle differences between Hunter’s subregions.

Thomas Wines is known for its classic Hunter Valley Shiraz and Semillon, but it also occasionally explores innovative styles without compromising on value. The white wines are delicate and cellar-worthy, while the reds are full-bodied and classic in the best sense of the word, making them one of the benchmarks for modern Hunter Shiraz.

A mentor to much of the next generation of Hunter producers, if you want to try the essence of the Hunter Valley, Thommo's wines are a must-try.

The Thomas Wines Braemore Vineyard Hunter Valley, NSW Thomas Wines

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