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2001 Mount Ida Shiraz
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- Closure: Cork
The Mount Ida Vineyard was planted in the 1970’s by artist Leonard French (who created the glass ceiling in the National Gallery of Victoria) and his mate Dr Jim Munroe. The vineyard is on Cambrian soil and has survived without irrigation although throughout drought vintages has produced tiny yields from vines which appear to be under some stress. This wine is a very useful benchmark for fans of Heathcote wines and a lesson in understanding the relationships of pH, acid, alcohol levels and physiological ripeness of the grapes. Many of the top examples of Heathcote Shiraz are coming onto the market at an alcohol level of 15 to 15.5%. Some wine critics have suggested that these wines are ‘over the top’ however the reality is that the grapes are not fully ripe in Heathcote until this baume is reached. The amazing quality is that the pH and the acidity are still perfectly balanced and there is no suggestion of a hot alcohol finish.
At 14.0% Alc/Vol the flavour components of Heathcote Shiraz are not fully developed and the tannins are still green. There is no denying the anxiety that faces both the winemaker and viticulturist. What does one do? Pick the grapes in a condition that will satisfy the alcohol requirements of some wine critics or wait until the grapes are ripe. The Mount Ida wine is the perfect wine to do your own comparative analysis.
Tasting Note: Very deep crimson colour with deep crimson hue. Aroma of vanilla, cedar, spice, blackberry and plum. The palate displays moderate length and lacks the concentration expected from a low yielding non irrigated vineyard. Flavours of plum and spice emerge followed by hints of vanilla and chocolate. Fine dry tannins. Aftertaste of spice and black pepper with dry tannins lingering.
Cellar 3-4 years (2007-2008)