Page 2008 Five Rows Shiraz Vinification Notes

2008 Five Rows Shiraz:

The tale of Lowrey Shiraz began many years ago with a firm handshake.  Our relationship as a grower for Creekside Estate Winery started in the late 90’s and continues to this day.  Shiraz is a staple for Creekside, grown and vinified to perfection year after year.  Given this success, we naively agreed to plant some of these vines soon after our partnership began.  Little did we know just how sensitive and vigorous Shiraz could be!

This combination of winter sensitivity and summertime vigor is a challenging prospect for the grape grower.  Early in their lives, these vines saw some pretty severe winters that almost led to their extinction in our vineyard.  Massive re-plantings and constant re-trunking were needed to restore their numbers.  Our hard work and patience was rewarded with some stellar vintages in the 2000s, ultimately inspiring me to take a crack at making my own Shiraz in 2008 (and yes, it will always be “Shiraz” not “Syrah” to us because we planted it for an Aussie!).

The fruit for this wine was harvested on October 23 following some pretty dodgy conditions in the summer of 2008.  We initially thinned the vines down to two bunches per shoot, but had to remove additional clusters in the fall, as it became clear that ripening would be a challenge.  We hand-harvested about one tonne of fruit from each of our Shiraz clones (7 & 100), then sorted before de-stemming into fermentation bins.

A long cold soak was employed to help with colour extraction and tannic development.  I chose to ferment the slightly riper Clone 7 fruit with RX60 yeast, but opted for F15 with the Clone 100 bin.  Ferments were carried out at an average pace, with four daily punch-downs.

One new Taransaud barrel, two older French and a lone American oak barrel were used for the maturation process of this wine.  Malolactic fermentation was carried out in barrel.  After 24 months in oak, the final blend was assembled and allowed to mingle for about 8 more months.  This exciting wine was bottled April 6th, 2011.

Aromas:  blackberry, black currant, lavender, smoked game

Flavours:  dark chocolate, coffee bean, raspberry

Production:  105 cases

Technical data:  13.0% alcohol,  pH 3.30,  TA 8.55

Price:  $50.00/bottle

Leave a Reply