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2016 'Leopold' Reserve Shiraz Viognier

A traditional blend of the Côte Rôtie Appellation of the northern Rhône Valley, where it is customary to add a small proportion of Viognier to enhance the scent and stability of the Shiraz (Syrrah). Due to our cool climate, our Shiraz is lighter and more finely drawn than the heavier styles of traditional Australian Shiraz, with a focus on texture and structure – some would call it more elegant; but don’t be fooled, this Shiraz is still an iron mailed fist at 14.2% alcohol cloaked in a silk glove.

A nod to the Germanic origins of the Burgundian people. They originated from the island of Bornholm off current day Denmark and settled in what is now Burgundy in the 5th century AD.

The de Beaurepaire family’s estate is in the hills above Rylstone in the Central Ranges of NSW. 53 hectares of vines were planted in 1998. The vineyard is 150km inland and above 600m altitude with a North-East aspect. Soil structure is sandy-loam mixed with limestone; the temperature range is as cool as Tasmania and Central Otago through the growing season; and the climate is inland/continental (large day/night variation) creating a terroir similar to Burgundy (the ancestral home of the de Beaurepaire family for nearly 1200 years).

Shiraz sourced from A Block (oldest block in vineyard) from 18-year-old vines and Viognier sourced from C Block from 16 year old vines at the time of harvest

Harvest (yield): Individually selected parcels of Shiraz and Viognier were handpicked on 27 March 2016 with a Baume of 13.9. An average yield of 8 tonnes per hectare (43hl/ha).

Vintage Conditions: 2016 started quite wet, requiring active trellis management, but for the final 3 months was dry and hotter than average producing a vintage approximately 2 weeks earlier than average.

10% whole bunch, 50% whole berries cold soaked for 3 days and co-fermented (as required by law in the Côte Rôtie AOC) in open vats, punched down 3 times daily using 30% native (“wild”) and 70% Syrah (Côtes du Rhône) yeast for 13 days.

Final maturation was in a mixture of extra fine grained, medium toasted 30% new and 70% 2-year old French (Seguin Moreau) hogsheads for 17 months and then lightly fined before bottling.

The warmer 2016 vintage produced an opulent, spice laden medium bodied wine. Spicy and exotic; dark-fruit, crème de cassis driven fleshy palate with long soft tannins and hints of the white pepper and cloves. A powerful vintage clothed in a silk glove with great cellaring potential.

A simple pan seared pork tenderloin or braised pork belly with a soy and maple syrup glaze and stir fried broccolini and green beans with baby carrots would be delicious. Grilled venison or duck, mushrooms and terrine. Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder (possibly Moroccan spiced) accompanied by Polenta Cake, Creme Fraiche and Salsa Verde.

Cellaring Potential: 25-30 years (2041-2046)
Serving Temperature: 17 to 18 degrees C / 63 to 65 degrees F


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