Josh has a distinct soft spot for the Cabernet wines produced in the 70’s and 80’s by the pioneering wineries of Central and Western Victoria, many of which seem ageless even now. The Shay’s Flat Vineyard is situated on an elevated and picturesque ridge in the heart of the Pyrenees. It’s a distinctively Australian setting with the vineyard surrounded by wheat paddocks, native bushland and scrub. The 20+ year old vines are rooted deep into mineral rich shale, quartz and mudstone soils, growing powerful, yet detailed fruit. Of Josh’s three Cab sites it is generally the second to ripen. 2022 was a worthy follow-up to 2021. These two vintages are a pigeon pair in terms of style, weight and ripeness. Again, there was ever-present disease pressure due to cooler weather. This resulted in lower yields in some vineyards, though also provided enhanced aromatics, detail and freshness.
Once hand harvested the fruit was entirely de-stemmed, then partially foot crushed before transfer to open fermenters where it remained for three weeks. The must was allowed to soak until natural fermentation commenced and was then extracted with a combination pumping over, delestage and pigage before basket pressing. Elevage took place in a combination of new Stockinger 300l (30%) and seasoned thin staved Bordeaux coopered barriques for 12 months, before four months in stainless steal after assemblage. The only addition to the wine is a small dose of sulphur.