||Shiraz (95%), Viognier (5%)
||Average 30 years old
The 2015 Vintage weather challenged the area’s vignerons, with cooler Summer temperatures prevailing, apart from a hot scorching week in mid-December. Rain fronts passed through the Valley during January, slowing the ripening of fruit. Conditions stabilised returning to dry, for steady ripening into February. Temperatures stayed cool, preserving red-and-black fruit characters in the grape, with a finer balance of tannin than usual.
Now into its 14th year of KTW production, this Shiraz has always been co-fermented with 5% Viognier in open fermenters. In 2015 both varietal components reached optimal ripeness, with Shiraz harvested in early February and whole-bunch Viognier being added to the vats to contribute velvety charm and perfume. Post ferment the vats were sealed for a further 4 weeks before pressing. The finished wine was matured for 12 months in fine French oak barriques, adding subtle elements of spice and complexity.
Co-fermenting 5% Viognier with 95% Shiraz generates aromas of soft warm spice and black fruits, with added floral notes of violet and roses. Here the dark fruits show as juicy black cherry and blood-plum, with milk-chocolate softness weaving a glossy texture and flavour length. Fine French oak combines beautifully with the gentle tannins, providing velvety length and harmony straight from the glass, even at this early stage. This is a first-rate example from 2015; a Shiraz with loads of style.
One of Keith's signatures is co-fermentation of Viognier with premium Hunter Valley Shiraz. Here, this blend brings instantly appealing aroma and texture.