Grapes for the Reserve Shiraz have been sourced from the same vineyard (the 1.6 hectare ‘20 Rows’ block in Langhorne Creek owned by the Borrett family) since the first Reserve Shiraz in 1997. The 20 Rows Shiraz block was planted in 1962 on the Langhorne Creek flood plain. This is a special and unique site which has been producing wine this way since the mid 1800’s. The vineyard area of Langhorne Creek today has expanded well outside the original flood plain and the growing conditions in the new vineyards are quite different. One could make a good argument for the appellation Langhorne Creek to be used exclusively for the historic flood plain land. The ‘20 Rows’ vines are quite low yielding for the area at around 3-4 tons/acre. They are growing on their own roots as the region is free of phylloxera. The soil in this vineyard is a deep alluvial clay loam with an almost shimmering quality about it which produces small, black-colored and perfectly formed Shiraz berries, packed with flavor.
The bunches were hand-harvested and mostly destemmed, with about 15% being left intact. The fruit was fermented in upright large, French oak vats with frequent manual hand plunging for extraction of color and tannins. The juice remains on the skins until the wine goes fully dry, which was roughly two and a half weeks. The wine was then gently basket pressed with on the free run juice used to one-third new and two-thirds three to ten-year-old 300L French tonneau for aging. The wine was lightly sulfured in the following summer and after a total of 18 months aging it was racked to tank where it settled naturally. The wine was bottled without fining or filtration and just a small addition of sulfur.