Vinous Heroin Society

2017

Ballad of the Broken Boy: Chapter 4, “For Al Forever”

Syrah - Viognier   |   Eden Valley - Australia

About

Like all of Sam’s wines the ethos is a bit dogmatic, but somehow very charming. Organic fruit, zero additions (in the traditional winemaking sense) including sulfur. Over the years Sam has made wines that literally nobody on this planet has before, and in all likelihood dreamt. He has used botanicals, tobacco, fruits, herbs, diffused vanilla water, etc. That said this is pretty straight forward.

The fruit is hand-picked and the Shiraz is fermented entirely whole-bunch. 6% of the total blend is made up of whole-bunch Eden Valley Viognier and a tiny 1% whole-bunch Adelaide Hills Gewürztraminer. Fermentation took roughly four weeks open top and with a fair bit of hand plunging and then the wine sat on the skins for an additional two weeks post-ferment. The tank was then sealed up for an additional four and a half months on skins untouched. It was pressed with both free run and primary pressed juice being sent to house cherrywood smoked AP John American oak hogsheads. It was aged for 18 months with full ullage occurring decreasing the water concentration and increasing the phenols and aromas. It was bottled without fining or filtration and without sulfur added. Each bottle has a hand-formed Adelaide Hills terracotta heart and hand stamped with an American oak stamp.

Stats

  • Grapes: 93% Shiraz - 6% Viognier - 1% Gewürztraminer
  • Vineyard: Single site in the Eden Valley (Shiraz & Viognier) - Single vineyard in the Adelaide Hills (Gewürztraminer)
  • Vine Age: Average: 35-years-old
  • Soil Type: Varied, Primarily Quartzite Sand over Fractured Brown Clay
  • Viticulture: Practicing Organic
  • Fermentation: Native yeast – 100% whole-cluster
  • Skin Contact: 6 months total (1 month for fermentation, 5 months-post fermentation)
  • Aging: 4.5 months in Stainless Steel tank - 18 months in second use cherrywood smoked American oak hogshead
  • pH: 3.6
  • Total Acidity: 6.8 g/L
  • Total SO2: 4 ppm
  • Total Production: 135 cases

Tasting Note

The wine instantly reminiscent of an old school Chinato, but without the depth of herb ‘n’ spice expected from that, but has the sweetness, the perky-peaky edginess, a lift of pretty sour tang, good length, richness, dark fruits and minty-herbal-spice. Indeed, there’s so much going on here it’s almost hard to know where to sniff, look and sip. It came alive with food. Tannins lightly chisel, the finish trails with spice and fruit. You’d go it for being a fuller red but there’s so much freshness too. Ok, out of the box a bit, but delicious, captivating, stellar drinking.

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