The 2002 vintage was an excellent,although unusual vintage.The weather played it 's part in producing a small but high quality red grape vintage.Ample rainfall during winter and spring of 2001 provided the basis for healthy shoot development early in the growing season.Wet and windy conditions during flowering reduced the crop set in many cooler regions,leading to lower than expected yields.A very cool,but dry ripening season followed with average daytime temperatures across many regions being down by 2 to 3C.This cool weather provided ideal conditions for the slow accumulation of intense flavours and ripe tannins in red grapes.
Based on rigorous vineyard inspections and berry tasting,winemakers selected fully ripe parcels of fruit with concentrated varietal flavours from Padthaway, Clare, Langhorne Creek, Bordertown, McLaren Vale, Barossa and Coonawarra for inclusion in the Reserve Shiraz blend.
After gentle crushing and de-stemming,the selected parcels of premium fruit were fermented in a combination of static and rotary fermenters. Fermentation temperatures were carefully controlled between 18 and 25 °C,allowing optimal extraction of flavours,colours and soft tannins from the grape skins whilst retaining fresh,spicy fruit aromas.Winemakers tasted each ferment twice daily to assess flavour and tannin extract progress prior to pressing off skins.All base wines underwent malolactic fermentation to soften the acid structure and ensure stability.Maturation took place in both American and French oak hogsheads for a period of 18 to 22 months.During this time,further tasting identified those parcels with powerful Shiraz fruit flavours,velvety structure and supple,integrated oak for final inclusion in the blend.
Colour: Vibrant crimson with purple highlights.
Bouquet: Attractive wild blackberry,sweet spices and violets with subtle mocha-like oak notes.
Palate: Intense dark berry fruit flavours,with layers of anise and spice.Full bodied with strong palate presence.Bold but velvety tannins provide the perfect backbone for expression of concentrated, spicy Shiraz flavours.The wine has great length of flavour,with complex notes of liquorice,coffee and blackberry evident.