Truly representative of the Penny's Hill McLaren Vale terroir, 'Cracking Black' pays homage to the Bay of Biscay soils which contribute to the generosity and richness of the mighty Shiraz wines from the region.
Sourced from our estate Malpas Road Vineyard, planted in 1991 on land which was originally referred to as ‘Bay of Biscay’. This is an obvious reference to the relatively infertile cracking, grey-black soil upon which our hand-tended Shiraz patch does its work. The fissures which occur as the black soil cracks apart, sever surplus root structure; a process which naturally lessens vigour and enhances ultimate grape quality. Other fruit parcels were sourced from the slightly higher elevated vines of the Penny’s Hill Vineyard. Detailed canopy management, judicious irrigation and passionate viticultural practices in both these high class vineyards contribute to this outstanding Shiraz.
To best reflect the variation in terroir across our vineyard sites, each Shiraz parcel was harvested, fermented and matured separately. Vintage 2015 was a compact harvest period and all fruit parcels were picked during the last 2 weeks of February. After approximately 10 days on skins in open or static fermenters, wines were pressed and filled immediately to the finest oak barrels. Each parcel was matured for 18 months prior to barrel selection and blending.The final blend consisted of 20% new French oak barrels and wine was bottled in November 2016.
Oozing with cherry and dark berry fruits, this McLaren Vale Shiraz is layered with milk chocolate, anise and finely integrated oak spice. Showing fresh blackberry and satsuma plum fruits on the palate, this wine is generous and well defined.The tannins delicately wrap the fruit and guide it along the palate, resulting in a wine of exceptional length and character.
Ready to drink now or age for 5+ years
pH 3.6 | TA 6.04 | Alc/vol 14.5%
93 Points - James Halliday - Wine Companion 2018: "Sourced from the estate Malpas Road vineyard, growing on infertile, grey-black cracking soil. 20%new French oak. Blackberry and licorice call the tune on the bouquet, with a whisper of sweet and aromatic oak playing second fiddle. Generous of flavour, but well defined, the juicy black fruits bounded by firm but finely-grained tannin. Drink now or cellar - your choice."
92 Points - Jeremy Oliver, jeremyoliver.com: "Spotlessly pristine shiraz whose peppery scents of cassis, raspberries and dark plums knit tightly with smoky chocolate/vanilla oak. Long and smooth, its vibrant presence of cassis, redcurrant and dark plums soaks up its polished new oak influences and extends effortlessly over a loose-knit spine of moderately firm tannins towards a refreshing and balanced finish."
GOLD Medal - Top 3 in Class, AWC Vienna, 2017