Proving why the region is called Great Southern, there’s greatness in every sip of this regional Shiraz from WA powerhouse Howard Park. This is a single vineyard wine of great distinction that goes to show that sometimes the west is the best. It mixes up dark fruits, like plums and blackberries, with hints of liquorice, bitter chocolate and spice. The tight, structured palate conveys the concentration of berries with fine tannins and has great potential to age. Well worth searing a steak for this wine as it tastes even better with meaty protein.
The Howard Park distinguished sites are crafted to highlight the distinctive regional and vineyard characteristics of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz from our best vineyard sites in Margaret River and the Great Southern, the two premier West Australian grape growing regions.
Vintage: The Great Southern sub-regions began the growing season with just adequate soil moisture and scant catchment fill. Predictably unpredictable spring weather in November did impact flowering, set and early spring growth on exposed sites. Summer was hot but uniformly so with some late onshore drizzle which brought the vintage to a rapid close in early April. With yields below average, the wines produced from the 2014 vintage are full of concentrated fruit flavours, good acidity and fine ripe tannins.
Vineyards: This wine is a blend of the best parcels from the Lange vineyard in Frankland River, which were planted in 1997 and 2000. The soils are lateritic gravelly/sandy loams over granite. Yields are low to moderate.
Technical Notes: Harvest occurred in late March. Small parcels are hand-picked and all harvests are sorted to remove matter other than grapes before fermentation. Vinification occurred in open 4 tonne vats. Gentle cap management at warm fermentation temperatures facilitates the extraction of fine fruit tannin and strong varietal notes. Select parcels are run to barrel between 2 & 3º Be to capture new barrel characters from the final few degrees of fermentation. The remaining blocks are pressed at dryness to retain fruit vibrancy. After pressing, each batch is matured separately in order to build a wine history over time. Maturation occurs in 30% new and 70% older barriques and hogsheads of French oak. After approximately 18 months in barrel, a good integration of oak and grape tannins is achieved and blending occurs around September. The wine undergoes egg white fining and light filtration prior to bottling.
Tasting Notes: The continental and cool climate of the Great Southern produces elegant yet powerful Shiraz. From the Frankland sub-region, where Shiraz reigns, the intense dark cherry fruit, black pepper spice, opulent fleshy sweet fruit and fine tannins herald the region’s Shiraz signature. This wine has a focused core of dark fruits wrapped in the warmth and comfort of oak’s vanilla with dark chocolate, liquorice and black pepper spice. The palate has a densely knit structure, loaded with fruit and finished with fine mouth-coating tannins. While youthful, the poise and completeness of the wine is exciting.