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Shiraz

 

2019 Shiraz

Very little made as only a select series of rows were picked to send off to Clive and the team – fermented in the bins and hand plunged daily before being pressed out into French oak that previously held the Cabernet Franc.  Opening a bottle and drinking over a couple of days recently has been a wonderful journey.
 
Very fragrant fresh raspberry and mulberry with an underpinning of dense dark fruits envelopes your first sniff from the glass – opening up you can touch on the cinnamon and all spice that flirts on the edge and white pepper that reminds you of the variety in play. The wine on the palate is denser and rounder than earlier versions with tannin and structure interplaying with both fresh raspberry / plum fruit and a dense floor of blackberry conserve that holds the wine from front to back. A more serious, but more complete Shiraz from the estate – potential for aging has multiplied as the structure feels solid even 2 days after opening. So pleased and so excited as this variety is gaining its full potential in the vineyard and in the bottle.

Sealed under screwcap to ensure the wine made by us arrives to you as we intended it to.

Reviews

Sold out before reviewed

Technical Details

The fruit was severely thinned prior to veraison, and handpicked early one morning. Any grapes that were considered not good “enough to eat” were dropped on the ground.  The technical data on these grapes are as below:

 

Picked 11 March 2019

Total weight 728 kg

Baume 12.6

pH 3.22

TA 7.1

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2018 Shiraz

2018 was pretty much picture perfect in Margaret River for the growing of grapes.  A warm start in Nov/Dec with enough rainfall in December to keep the vines growing without stress, then a dry-ish Jan / Feb which had no major heat spikes at all (February was actually quite cool), implying the vines did not shut down over the period, finishing off with a warm and dry March.  The closest vintage comparison is 2007, and that was a sensational year for us with a pair of great wines made.  All dry grown, limited sprays required during the season, and a helping hand for vintage – everything was in place to make a sensational wine.
 
On 23 March the grapes came off in great health – long black bunches of these delicious ovoid grapes.  Just over two tonnes were picked, the sugars ended up being just over 13% giving the wine an equivalent alcohol level, and the acidity kept nice and tight at 3.21pH and a Total Acidity of 6.7.

Every vine picked was selected during the pick by Aidan who spent a few weeks over vintage helping out.  And the reason for this?  Well there were some vines that were not as advanced as others in ripening, and rather than damage the overall quality with most of the grapes being pitch perfect, Aidan went ahead and tasted the grapes from each vine, taking out ~10-20% from the pick – master stroke.  They came off even, tasting sensational, and all with equivalent acid and tannin development.
 
21 months in 1-2yo French Oak barrels after a 12-day ferment – it has looked amazing from the first day.  I’ve often said that our Shiraz has a bit of a Northern Rhône “feel” to it – now I can die on that hill, a real life copy of one of those St-Josephs I used to order as my go to in French cafes (if a decent Merlot wasn’t on the chalk board!).  It is an awesome wine and one that makes me feel it will travel its own path – vintage variable, but those highs will be extraordinary.

Crystalline plum colour in the glass, swirls garnet and depths are morello cherry.  Fragrance lifts from the glass on impact – initially pinotesque with those cherries and strawberries, before deeper aromas of red charred meats, sweet tobacco, briary goodness fill it all out.  Wow, taking that first draft you get hit by the freshness of fruit (raspberry, plum, cherry) melded with an oak /spice which just lifts it up.  Tannins are integrated and across the tongue and cheeks before you just linger on that long “red” flavoured length.  It is our best Shiraz we have made – hands down.  Cellaring potential 5-10 years…but probably longer.

Sealed under screwcap to ensure the wine made by us arrives to you as we intended it to.

Reviews

Gary Walsh (WineFront)– March 2020 (Review Here - Subscription Required )

"It’s medium-bodied, supple and fresh, spicy, hazelnuts and savoury things, fine chalk dust tannin, red and black fruits, and a bright and dusty aniseed accented finish of good length. Anyway, nice wine, and I like that Italianate bitter herb thing that it offers."

Score: 93 points

Technical Details

The fruit was severely thinned prior to veraison, and handpicked early one morning. Any grapes that were considered not good “enough to eat” were dropped on the ground.  The technical data on these grapes are as below:

 

Picked 23 March 2018

Total weight 2,310 kg

Baume 12.4

pH 3.21

TA 6.7

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BP Shiraz 2016.jpg

2016 Shiraz

Our Shiraz plot sits on the top of the block, over-looking the surrounds and historically providing the only mobile coverage that could be gleaned from the skies.  The Shiraz soils are a mix of alluvial clays and sands derived from granites and granitic gneisses that edge the Margaret River region.  The lateritic iron rich gravels which are on our property form the lower slopes and there we find the Bordeaux varieties growing over this brown laterite remnant, with the boundary being distinctive and clear when walking amongst the vines.

 

We have had over the years a hard time getting to grips with our Shiraz, with only a few vintages made.  But in 2016 everything went to plan perfectly and the resulting wine to me is amazing.  It really does “feel” like something that is both a bit Syrah (i.e. cool climate, hints of its true home in the Rhone Valley) and a bit Shiraz (i.e. the Aussie reincarnation of this variety) – and with there being no overt new oak to take away from the aroma of fresh fruits and spice, it creates its own space.

This 2016 Shiraz is a bright wine that has lots of aromatics and a depth of character on the palate.  With using older oak for storage, the wine is not encumbered with clunky oak, just lots of fruit and berry flavours melding in with the acid and tannin that can support it for a few years in the cellar (if you want to wait a touch longer).

 

A perfect picnic wine, one for the table if having some charcuterie or cold meats and cheese, it becomes the best of accompaniments when grabbing for an interesting, mouth-watering wine with your meal.

Sealed under screwcap to ensure the wine made by us arrives to you as we intended it to.

Reviews

Gary Walsh (WineFront)– October 2017 (Review Here - Subscription Required )

"Perfume and grace here.  It’s a wine that feels very at ease with itself, red fruits, spice, hazelnut, a subtle and pleasant stalkiness.  Medium bodied, ripe yet sappy tannin gives it a bit of chewiness, length is good too, clean and with that tug of tannin leaving a happy ending.  Very good!"

 

Rated: 93 Points

Philip White (Drinkster – InDaily) – October 2017 (Review Here )

 

"If the rebel kids have pushed the Old Man aside to make that Lost Ram, somebody's sage elder had a bit of dogged input here: similarly perfumed and heady, but showing a bit more good old-fashioned torque, this lovely brash baby reminds me more of something from upstream of Gigondas: it's a dash more like a young Cornas from alluvial gravels. One that's been listening to a lot of the Rocky Burnette Trio.

 

And of course a lot of it has to do with this Blue Pole growing on the edge of a different ocean (Indian) to the K (Great Southern) and the Big C (Mediterranean) with different everything in a place hardly known for its Shiraz.

 

Stretching the geographical pallet, Whitey? Trust Unca Philip. And trust Mark Gifford and Tim Markwell, the thirsty and eternally patient and determined geologists who chose their Margaret River site for Blue Poles for - wait for it - its ... geology! Alluvial gravels under the Shiraz!

 

Other than a fleeting sense of anise and long pepper, one of the wafts that catches me here is a sinister dark green thing, which is tricky for a self-censoring colourblind synæsthete to project. I recall a similar character in an early Marius Shiraz: it's a mood more than a flavour. Something to do with a hot British Racing Green 3.8 litre E-type Jaguar drophead ticking itself cool beneath the pines after a fang around the Old Willy Hill and Kuitpo. Walnut dash; black leather; the patina of years of unearthly speed and risk oozing with expensive oil from a piece of exquisitely sculptured engineering ... that earlier record from the highly earthly gravels of the Kurrajong geology beneath Marius ... rock dreaming, see?

 

Whew. Take the rock stuff as you will. I've barely mentioned music. This is a rockin Shiraz, but it's not stony. Apart from the granular, sandy tannins, which simply stoke more hunger after that unblemished pure Shiraz fruit.  It's lovely springtime wine, and once again, cheaper than Grange. And a damn sight faster.

 

Saltimbocca, please, pink and juicy, Capers; mash. Don't spare the lemon.az!

Technical Details

The fruit was severely thinned prior to veraison, and handpicked early one morning. Any grapes that were considered not good “enough to eat” were dropped on the ground.  The technical data on these grapes are as below:

 

Picked 15 March 2016

Total weight 1982 kg

Baume 13.6

pH 3.38

TA 6.50

 

The wine was curated by Clive Otto and Kate Morgan and fermented in a closed vat and continuously “pumped over” to extract colour and tannins softly, with ferment being completed after 10 days.  The wine was pressed and placed in French oak barrels and stored for 14 months. 

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BP Shiraz 2011.jpg

2011 Shiraz

Grown on the top of our vineyard to extract the heat and concentrate the fruit, the setting provides the confidence in the wine. Garnet red in the glass, with a nose of raspberry and spice, it provides a lot of nuance and sway. The palate is medium weight and delicious with the brightness of the fruit following through to the length. This wine would age gracefully for 2-5 years in a cool cellar.

 

Food matches for this wine include game such as venison (slow roasted saddle with a mulberry reduction), duck (anyway you want!), and moussaka (classic Greek style with eggplant and meat sauce topped with béchamel sauce).

Sealed under screwcap to ensure the wine made by us arrives to you as we intended it to.

Reviews

Campbell Mattinson, www.thewinefront.com.au 

“It's a steal at the price.  It has the fruit, it has the spice, it has the poise.  The length follows suit.  Peppercorn, black pepper, plum, gum leaf and dark cherry.  Smooth-skinned texture.  Bright and lively.  Chewy, peppery tannin.  One of the best Blue Poles wines I've tasted.” 94 points.

Technical Details

The growing season in 2011 provided a season which brought the grapes through to ripeness with a warm patch in January and February, followed by a cooling period that ensured the grapes were picked later in the vintage. By extending the season many red wines in Margaret River have generated an extra fine dimension as the tannins became wholly developed and smooth, matching in with fruit flavours that were fully ripe. 2011 will be considered a rich and ripe vintage for red wines in the region and may produce many long lasting and significant wines.

All the grapes were handpicked in the cool of the morning and de-stemmed at the winery prior to the heat of the day, preserving all the aromatics and richness of the juice.  100% Shiraz this year due to the intensity of flavours in the must and solid colour extraction, thus providing us with a touch of Hermitage style influence over the wine from our “Hill Top” location.  This is only our second commercial Shiraz vintage from Blue Poles, with the harvest technical data as below:

 

Picked 29 March 2011

3330kg

Beaumé 13.2

pH 3.20

TA 6.3   g/L

Dave Johnson and his team of workers made an exemplary wine from our second vintage of Shiraz grapes.  Minimum handling and winemaker influence is always the order of the day when making a Blue Poles wine and the Shiraz received just such attention. The grapes were fermented in open top fermenters and plunged up to 4 times a day to enhance colour extraction and ensuring the wine was saturated with flavour, with ferment completed after 14 days.  Stored in 1-2 year old French oak barrels for 16 months, with a variety of coopers used to create the complexity we desire, this wine has gained weight and pedigree with the passage of time.

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BP Shiraz 2008.jpg

2008 Shiraz

Grown on the top of our vineyard to extract the heat and concentrate the fruit, the setting provides the confidence in the wine. Deep garnet red in the glass, with a nose of raspberry and spice, it moves continuously like smoke. The palate is medium weight and delicious with the richness of the fruit following through to the length. This wine would age gracefully for 2-5 years in a cool cellar.

 

Food matches for this wine include game such as venison (slow roasted saddle with a mulberry reduction), duck (anyway you want!), and moussaka (classic Greek style with eggplant and meat sauce topped with béchamel sauce).

Sealed under screwcap to ensure the wine made by us arrives to you as we intended it to.

 

Reviews

The Big Red Wine Book 2010/11, Campbell Mattinson & Gary Walsh

“A classy but restrained style of wine.  Not so much a reserve release, as a 'reserved' release.  It's a savoury style that tastes spicy, peppery, pippy and cherried.  It's medium-bodied with attractive powdery tannins and a touch of meatiness.  Personality plus, in a good way.  A bit of a extra time in the bottle - stored in a cool, dark place - will not do it any harm at all. ”

 

Rated : 91 Points
Tasted : Feb 2010
Alcohol : 14%
Price : $20
Closure : Screwcap

Drink : 2011 - 2015

The Wine Front

 

 

Technical Details

The growing season in 2008 provided a season which brought the grapes through to ripeness without extremes of heat and any significant rainfall. By extending the season many red wines in Margaret River have generated an extra fine dimension as the tannins became wholly developed and smooth, matching in with fruit flavours that were fully ripe. 2008 will be considered a classic vintage for red wines in the region and will produce many long lasting and significant wines.

 

All the grapes were handpicked in the cool of the morning and de-stemmed at the winery prior to the heat of the day, preserving all the aromatics and richness of the juice.  An addition of a mere 10kg of very ripe Viognier picked specifically for this wine was also combined with the fruit, so as to have a touch of Cote Rotie style influence this our first wine from our “Roasted Slope”.  This is our first commercial vintage from Blue Poles Vineyard, with the harvest technical data as below:

 

Picked 2 April 2008             

1,723kg                                     

Beaumé 14.3                            

pH 3.42                                     

TA 5.0 g/L                               

 

Sharna Kowalczuk and her team of workers made an exemplary wine from our first vintage of Shiraz grapes.  Minimum handling and winemaker influence is always the order of the day when making a Blue Poles wine and the Shiraz received just such attention. The grapes were fermented in open top fermenters and plunged up to 4 times a day to enhance colour extraction and ensuring the wine was saturated with flavour, with ferment completed after 12 days.  Stored in new and 1-2 year old French oak barrels for 18 months, with a variety of coopers used to create the complexity we desire, this wine has gained weight and pedigree with the passage of time.

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