Shaw & Smith Balhannah Vineyard Shiraz 2014

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  • South Melbourne
  • Sydney
I expect most who loved the 2013 of this wine (and I thought it was very good), will find this a punchier, fuller rendition of Adelaide Hills shiraz. “We liked 2014 a lot”, quips Martin Shaw, “it was a low yielding vintage, perhaps better for chardonnay and shiraz than sauvignon blanc. It wasn’t the coolest vintage on record”, Shaw offers.
Around 70% whole bunch here, decidedly an Adam Wadewitz influence, says Shaw, and Smith backs it up. “It introduces a savoury note and a tightness of palate, which I really like”, says Michael Hill Smith, ” you get exuberance of fruit, but it adds another dimension”. Shaw joins in, “the other observation is it only works if you’re doing every thing else right, like hand-harvesting, the right sort of stalks, careful handling, attention to detail in winemaking”. Masters at work.
Very savoury scents, deep game-like character, concentrated berry characters, whiff of black olives, black pepper and earth. Savoury to taste too, dark fruits, herbs, smudged tannins roll through squeaky acidity, finishes peppery and chewy. The wine feels firm, tight and structured, with a deep, rich, brooding kind of Adelaide Hills shiraz expression at hand. Bolshy, bold, heady, warm, thick in a way, perhaps a touch ungainly right now, just a smidge. Lots of future, serious impact here. MIKE BENNIE, The Wine Front 2016