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2003 Sanguine Estate Heathcote Shiraz
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- Cellar 3 - 4 years (2007-2008)
- ABV 14.8%
- Closure: Cork
~THE EVOLUTION OF HEATHCOTE ~Like some wondrous child prodigy, Heathcote is a viticultural paradox: a district where young vines that would be considered 'immature' elsewhere, consistently produce stunning symphonies of flavour. Perhaps no other wine region in the world has established itself so dramatically in such a short time as Heathcote.Even though the regions viticultural history actually dates back to the mid 19th Century, the most influential developments can be chronicled throughout Heathcote's recent thirty years of erratic activity. The first vineyards, planted to Shiraz and Marsanne, were established in 1858 at Colbinabbin, by the German pioneer Henning Rathjen. (Today his descendent Ian Rathjen continues that tradition with his wild wine, Whistling Eagle.) But in recent history, it was the Italian migrants who were to determine Heathcote's future. Bruno Pangrazio planted Shiraz on the site now owned by JASPER HILL in 1975.
The reasons for Bruno selecting that particular site are not documented, but if it was by chance it was very fortuitous. Later, another Italian, Albino Zuber planted the Pink Cliffs Vineyard on the main street (now owned by Shadowfax). Then in 1975 Artist Len French and his medico mate, Dr James Munro, established the Mount Ida Vineyard after a trip to Burgundy and the Rhone Valley in France. Len tells the story behind the site selection, based on crushing handfuls of dirt and doing colour comparisons with the Great Vineyards of France! The expansion continued with the Tudhope's Heathcote Winery, Wild Duck Creek, McIvor Estate, Huntleigh, Hanging Rock, St Michaels and others. However, it was Ron Laughton of Jasper Hill who started extolling the virtues of the 500 million year old Cambrian Earth. As the districts reputation for 'Cambrian' Shiraz grew, it began to attract more than just a few romantic individuals.
Australia's big Wine Companies began to take notice. Farm land with Cambrian Earth was snapped up at a remarkable pace. A new age 'gold rush' had begun. TONY AND LINDA HUNTER of Sanguine Estate were amongst the new enthusiasts. The couple planted their first 16 acres of Shiraz in 1997 during weekends and it soon dawned upon them that the hobby farm was rapidly becoming a serious business. Son Mark was dispatched to Viticultural School and Peter Dredge (of Red Edge) and Matt Hunter (no relation) were employed as winemakers. Today the Estate has expanded to 55 acres – 50 of which are planted to Shiraz with the remaining 5 acres planted to Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Petit Verdot, Viognier, Tempranillo and Chardonnay (the family it would appear are hedging their bets on any further changes in consumer tastes). The 2003 Vintage remained in a state of drought with only one third the annual rainfall distributed over the growing season. Yields varied from 0.5 to 1.5 tonne per acre, which despite the lack of water, produced highly concentrated small Shiraz berries. Fermentation took place in 2.5 tonne open fermenters with hand plunging.
A portion of whole bunch grapes were added to the ferment and wild yeasts were used to create a greater expression of the Sanguine Terroir. The 2004 Vintage saw the completion of a new winery with state of the art mechanical plunging mechanisms.The 2003 Sanguine Shiraz continues the tradition of producing exceptionally rich, fruit filled wines.
Tasting Notes: Sanguine Estate continues to produce exceptional full bodied Shiraz from their Heathcote Vineyard. The yields are miniscule, which are reflective of the drought conditions that have become a fact of life in the district. As a result, the fruit produced tends to be super concentrated – bordering on being an essence of the Shiraz grape. Totally black purple colour, with the blackest of black centres. Superb lifted nose – displaying a concentrate of black pepper, blood plum, blackberry, vanilla, liquorice and spice, followed by a raspberry endnote. Classic voluptuous Heathcote palate – totally explosive, with flavours of ripe plum, blackberry, spice, black and white pepper and liquorice. Fine grained tannins – perfect balance with explosive aftertaste of plum, spice, black pepper and blackberry.
Cellar 3-4 years (2007-2008)