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McLaren Vale - Australia


Steve has many interests in grapes and regions but ultimately what has always been at the core of his vinous life is McLaren Vale Shiraz. Steve won the first of his two ‘Jimmy Watson’ trophies (AKA, the best red wine in Australia as voted blind by your peers and press) from this vineyard, with the 1995 Hardy ‘Cuvee Eileen Hardy’ Shiraz. Now as the custodian of this vineyard, Steve is releasing his first single vineyard wines. This is a blend of three Koomilya blocks, the majority of which is sourced from Shiraz grafted on Gewürztraminer (GT Block). This block was planted in 1970, and grafted in the early 1990s. The remaining Shiraz was sourced from the Mulberry Block & Spider Block, planted in the early 2000s with clones sourced from 130+ year old Hardy Shiraz (Upper Tintara), the neighboring vineyard.

The Shiraz was hand-harvested over three days in mid-February. The fruit was primarily destemmed, with about 20% of the bunches staying intact, and started fermentation spending 19 days on skins in open top fermenters before being pressed off to tank for an additional 28 days. The now dry wine then was racked into two 25hL French foudre where malolactic fermentation carried out naturally and the wine matured for 12 months. The wine was bottled in June, 2016 without fining or filtration.


  • Grapes: 100% Shiraz
  • Vineyard: Koomilya Vineyard - GT Block, Mulberry Block, Spider Block
  • Vine Age: Average: 50-years-old
  • Soil Type: Ironstone ridden gravel
  • Viticulture: Practicing Organic - Regenerative
  • Fermentation: Native – stainless steel (80% destemmed)
  • Skin Contact: 19 days
  • Aging: 12 months in four use 25hL French foudre
  • pH: 3.8
  • Total Acidity: 6.2 g/L
  • Total SO2: 43 ppm
  • Total Production: 500 cases

Tasting Note

Blackberry, liquorice, rock pool and oyster shells, warm scents of polished wood with a little nougat and sizzled sage leaf in tow. Medium-bodied, kind of wants to be full-bodied, but keeps itself sensible. Blackberry and raspberry coulis, but then something of a veal with capers and black olives savoury thing happening (don’t mind me), tannin is supple and has a sort of wool feel, and the finish is earthy and saline, and satisfyingly long. Distinctive. It recalls that comforting feeling of reading a favorite book for the second (or third) time in your favourite chair.