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2004 Henschke Tappa's Pass Shiraz
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- ABV 14%
- Closure: Cork
Notes sourced from Henschke.
Background: The Barossa has a core of grapegrowers of German-Lutheran descent dating back five generations, doggedly continuing the traditions of their forebears. Occasionally one or two parcels of fruit come over the weighbridge that just blow us away; this wine is one such example. The old, low-yielding vines are growing in devigorating Neoproterozoic soils about 542 million years old, ranging from red-brown earths to terra rossa. The tiny-berried, fully mature black shiraz grapes were sourced from grower vineyards in Tappa Pass and Light Pass and were vinified in traditional open-top fermenters and then matured for two years in new and seasoned French oak barrels.
Produced from 100% old-vine shiraz grown in the Barossa the wine was matured in 55% new, 45% used French hogsheads for 18 months prior to blending and bottling. A limited-production wine from vintages of superior to excellent quality only.
Vintage Description: The average winter rainfall this season was a welcome relief after 2003’s fourth-worst drought in history. A relatively frost-free, wet warm and thundery spring followed, creating a natural ‘greenhouse’ effect. The vines grew vigorously, flowered and in general set a large crop. December was the hottest for 10 years, however at the start of 2004 the weather became mild and windy and the vines thrived under virtually no heat stress. At the start of February searing heat caused sunburn and significant crop losses. New records were broken with South Australia experiencing its hottest day ever. Fortunately March returned the region to glorious sunny days and cold dewy nights, with a couple of minor rain events, allowing the fruit to ripen under near perfect conditions. The vintage was almost as late as 2002 with good yields and excellent fruit quality.
Has the quality expected at this price level; classic medium-bodied structure, with spicy overtones to cool-grown fruit, and a long palate finishing with savoury tannins.
James Halliday – The Australian Wine Companion: September 2007