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1999 Petaluma Shiraz
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- Closure: Cork
This is the second release of the Petaluma Shiraz, produced from a distinguished site on the eastern edge of the Adelaide Hills.The introductory background notes to this wine have been written by Brian Croser, and really need no further embellishments. The commentary and notes are ours.
Notes from Petaluma:1999 is the second release of Petaluma Shiraz from the B & V Vineyard on theWestern escarpment of Mount Barker which is located on the eastern edge of the Adelaide Hills.
Petaluma's search for a distinguished vineyard site for Shiraz and Viognier began in 1990. The B & V Vineyard was planted on Mount Barker because that site has the most similar climate and soil to the Northern Rhone of anywhere in Southern Australia. The furnace of hot air rising off the adjacent Murray plains desert during the day alternates with the cold air of the central Adelaide Hills at night, creating a large diurnal temperature fluctuation. This absolutely suits the ripening pattern of Shiraz. The vineyard is on a unique strip of sandy loam formed from micaceous schist rocks protruding from the mountain. This soil is warm and aerobic and restrains the natural vigour of Shiraz.
1999 was a warm to hot year, 1535?C days versus the average of 1413?C days on Mount Barker. It was a drought year at 231mm of summer rain versus the average of 254mm.The very low crop and warm, dry conditions ripened the Shiraz in the B & V Vineyard rapidly and completely. The skins of the Shiraz berries were thick, tough and pigment black, and the seeds hard, woody and brittle. The ripe fruit flavours developed by the exposed bunches roasting in the sun, are of liquorice, blackberry and black treacle. The tannins are those of thoroughly ripened Shiraz fruit being firm mouth coating and savoury, but not astringent.
The 1999 Petaluma Shiraz was matured for 18 months in new heavy toast barriques from Troncais and Normandy before clear racking, egg fining and bottling without filtration.
This is a wine with deep foundations of fruit, reinforced by a significant tannin structure, which will build completely with long bottle age.
Brian CroserApril 2001
Nicks Notes: The interesting quality of this wine is that it manages to express it’s terroir and ‘Australianness’ without taking on any Rhone qualities – we say this in spite of the fact, that one of Croser’s parameters in finding a distinguished Shiraz site was to locate a micro climate with a ‘large diurnal temperature fluctuation.’
Totally opaque colour, with crimson mauve edges. Perfumed nose, with aroma of violets, blackberry and spice. Mouthfilling palate, with distinct black pepper flavours over spice and cedar followed by back palate flavours of blackcurrant, liquorice and ripe blood plums. Outstanding depth, with real elegance of style. Very fine tannin structure, dry followed by very long aftertaste. A Shiraz of great finesse. Cellar 4-5 years. Stocks are very limited.