2019 Shiraz

Dark and earthy fruit here with cocoa and savouriness, but flashes of blackcurrant, pepper, iodine and stems. Fine and plush on the palate with creamy length.

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Winemaker's Notes


Shiraz has become the leading variety of the Canberra District, and we love it. We grow three clones/selections: Best’s Old Block (fragrant, quite mineral) and 1127 (richer, more chocolatey tannins) along with the original planting (PT23, blackberry and pepper). In 2019, the blend is half 1127, with smaller percentages of the other two.


This year we celebrate our 30th vintage. Just like last year, the 2018-2019 was the second-warmest season on record behind 2016, this time with some very hot summer weather. A very dry winter saw us applying irrigation prior to budburst for the first time. January was particularly hot, and irrigation was used to prevent heat damage. Subsequent weather during ripening and vintage was good. Yields were down in most varieties, but quality was good, and once again, the later ripening varieties benefitted from the milder conditions, showing great colour and flavour definition.


Hand picked 2-9 April 2019, at 13.3Bé and fermented in open vats with hand plunging, leaving 25% as whole bunches. Matured in French oak barriques (17% new), unfined and lightly filtered. Bottled January 2020, 384 dozen made. Alcohol 14.0% by volume. Vegan friendly?: Yes.

Drink now to 2039.

In The Cellar

The first shiraz vintage (2002) was under cork, screwcap clearly gives the wines longer life. Wines were tasted from the winery museum. If your cellaring conditions are less than ideal, consider reducing the expected life of the wine. Tasted May 2018.

Vintage Tasting Notes Drink Until Rating
2015 Purple-red. Wonderfully aromatic and complex with pepper, musky, creamy blackberry, spicy fruit and iodine. Lush dark fruits on the palate, grainy long tannin. Gorgeous. Similarities to ’05 and ’09. 2038 Outstanding
2014 Deep medium red. Dried herbs and restrained fruit. Taut, earthy and a little rustic. 2026 Very good
2013 Very deep purple-red. Rich fruitcake, ripe aromas with soy and game. Big and full and overall a bit boofy. Similarities to 2008. 2031 Excellent
2012 Deep purple-red. Has lost some fruit and dusty pyrazine/vegetal character now dominates. Distinctive and enjoyable but likely to polarise. 2023 Very good
2011 Good deep red. Some gaminess at first but opening to pepper, red fruits and herbs, complex and interesting. Perhaps a touch of hardness, but overall complex and lovely with very good length. 2028 Excellent
2010 Medium red. Intense aromas of blackcurrant and smoky, dusty spice. Red berries, black pastille and plum on the palate, bright and clear. Some good development, but lots of future. 2030 Excellent
2009 Deep black-red. Intense and complex with a spiced fruit, dusty leather and earth. Loads of interest, juicy, fine and plush, coiled and taut but full. A silky favourite. 2030 Outstanding
2008 Deep dark red. A dense and powerful wine with ripe dark fruit and hints of game. Plush and rich with freshness and youth. 2028 Excellent
2007 Medium red with slight brick edge. Sweet fruit with dried herbs and woodspice, some oak still visible. The palate is slightly firm. 2023 Excellent
2006 Deep red with slight brick edges. Still has good fruit but also quite savoury and vegetal character. Fresh fruit on the palate but sandy and somewhat astringent. 2021 Good
2005 Dark black/red. Lots of aromatic intensity and developed complexity with blackcurrant, damp earth, smoky undergrowth, roast meat. Wonderful chewy, grippy, grainy texture. A gorgeous mature wine to some, slightly too savoury for others. 2023 Outstanding
2004 Dark black/red. Aromatic and attractive with sweet, spiced ripe fruit, woodspice, cigar box, musky blueberry, chocolate and vanilla. Soft sweet fruit, plush and fine, the finish firmish and this is the only reservation. 2025 Excellent
2003 Dense black/red. Lots of dark primary fruit still, very ripe with earth, integrated oak, raspberry, musky, marzipan and toast. Still youthful, but somewhat firm and austere. 2028 Very good
2002 Red/brick colour. Intense aromas of dusty leather, red fruit, liquorice, earth and mulberry. Fully mature but attractive. Soft and plush with sweet fruit, fine tannins and lovely balance. A really lovely, complex old red. Now Very good