This is a powerful wine, but with real definition, that has maintained its strong following for nearly 15 years. Those that have tasted it can attest to its spiritual abilities. Ever wonder about one person’s secrets that are safely stowed away in a ‘little black book?’ Well that is the idea behind Small Gully’s ‘Mr. Black’s Little Book’ Shiraz. Sourced from prized vineyards (that Stephen’s partner is involved in, thus the ‘house discount’) in the northern part of the Barossa and the Adelaide Plains. This is a blend of 65-year-old fruit from Zippy’s Block in the Barossa Valley and ‘younger vines’ from Robert’s Vineyard in the Adelaide Plains.
Very little intervention is used in making this wine. The fruit is picked according to taste when Stephen feels that it’s at its optimal ripeness. The fruit is then destemmed and crushed and left to start fermenting which is done without inoculation. Pumpovers and punchdowns are both used with the latter used earlier in the process to really get at the tannins and color and the former later on for a more gentle extraction. After two weeks the wine is basket pressed off gently and then racked into barrel. In classic Stephen Black fashion the wine ages for a long period but in old barrels, 24 months in 5-10-year-old barrels in this case. It was bottled in the late summer without fining or filtration and with a small addition of sulfur.