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2006 Heartland Directors Cut Shiraz
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- Cellar 4 - 5 years (2011-2012)
- ABV 14.5%
- Closure: Cork
Below average rainfall conditions can produce some benefits for winemaking, in that varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon can be fully ripened, avoiding undesirable green vegetative characteristics. However, when such conditions become the norm, drought prevails and the rules of viticulture and winemaking change. New strategies must be developed to deal with potentially stressed vines. The 2008 vintage in Australia may prove to be even more difficult to manage than the 2007 Vintage, which has been tagged 'The Vintage from Hell!'
Viticulturists that still have access to water have had to suddenly learn how to use it more efficiently, creating tension but not stress in the vines. Drought conditions can exacerbate the variations of quality within vineyard blocks due to differences in the underlying soil structures.This results in a need for greater sampling of grape berries prior to vintage. Grapes also ripen earlier under drought, reaching elevated sugar levels more rapidly, usually combined with lower acidity. As a consequence, the period of optimum ripeness is shorter than usual, creating a sense of urgency to harves tgrapes before the desired flavour profiles are lost. Yet, earlier harvest dates (up to 4 weeks early) can be an organisational nightmare for a winery, as red and white grapes come in together. Refrigeration equipment is strained and even the harvesting and transportation of grapes is made more difficult as the fruit arrives ‘hot’ rather than cool. More force is required by mechanical harvesters to pick the grape bunches, which in turn, increases the amount of MOG (material other than grape in the bulk bins.)
These ‘unwanted’ variables require additional care in the winery particularly in the efforts to create stylistic continuity. The winemaking problems are seemingly compounded as juices are harder to settle due to their higher solid content. The risk of stuck ferments, incidence of volatile acidity and delayed malolactic ferments all have to be resolved. Water stressed vines also tend to produce smaller berries which can result in either an increase or decrease of Anthocyanin and tannin levels in the finished wine, as well as creating a greater variation of pH levels. Some Northern Hemisphere vineyards have developed ATA sensory characteristics (A Typical Aging), particularly in white wines. Such wines possess high pH and age more rapidly than those produced from a typical year. Although not detected in Australian drought affected vineyards yet, such issues may not be far afield. Leading CSIRO researcher, Leanne Webb claims,“the temperature of the ripening period insome regions will become too warm to produce balanced wines from some, maybe all grape varieties growing there now.'Yet in the midsts of all of this adversity, outstanding wines are being producedin the hands of master viticulturists and winemakers. One such winemaker is Ben Glaetzer, together with the team at Heartland wines.
The Directors Cut Shiraz is Heartland’s top wine, produced from fruit grown from the company director’s own mature vineyards located in Langhorne Creek and Limestone Coast, South Australia. The fruit is harvested at night and then crushed into open top stainless steel, two tonne fermenters. The must remains for twenty four hours on skins before being inoculated with a Rhone Isolate yeast whereby, it is allowed to undergo a cool ferment for nine days before being pressed directly into oak. The oak regime is interesting in that it consists of 70% new Allier and 30% new Kentucky, the two oaks conferring added layers of complexity. The wine is matured in barrel for 8 months prior to blending and bottling. The 2006 Vintage will be heralded as one of Australia’s greats, along with the 2002 and the 2004. This wine delivers everything and what’s more, it remains extremely affordable.
A Masterpiece of Winemaking!
Totally opaque black purple colour with black purple hue. Wonderful nose - which leaps out of the glass and oozes with varietal strength and finesse. Vanilla, liquorice allsorts and blackberry juice are liberally laced with violets.The palate is mouthfilling - showing complexity combined with explosive force. Flavours of freshly crushed blackberry are meshed with black pepper, liquorice and confectionary and just as one thought that was it, a layer of coconut and confectionary appears on the back palate. Fine grained tannins, excellent length. Very long and distinctaftertaste of coconut, confectionary, blackberry and spice. A wine to stock up on, given the shortages of the 2007 vintage and likely shortage of 2008.
Cellar 4 - 5 years (2011 - 2012)