2017 Shiraz Viognier
Sourced from the Road Block located in the Koonunga sub region. When we started making the wines for Rock of Wisdom in 2013 we were trying to work out how to make our Barossa Shiraz stand out and show the softer more elegant side of life. The mix of Viognier changes according to the season, so far we used 5%, 6% & 7% with 5% being the most common.
The 2017 vintage was a cooler softer year without the development of overly large intense tannins. We added 5% viognier skins due to the fruit not being as intense, if we’d added any more it would dominate the wine and shift it into unbalanced wine territory and no one wants that. The Shiraz fruit was destemmed but not crushed so as to maintain whole berries during ferment. Temperatures were kept cool (lower temps help to maintain more delicate & vibrant characteristics in wines) and it got two pumpovers a day. The pumpovers were very short so as to keep tannin extraction under control. In cooler years this block shows more blocky tannins instead of the more plusher softer tannins from warmer years.
The oak we used for this wine was all old French oak with half the barrels being lightly shaved. Shaving the inside of the barrel is when the cooper shaves the first few millimetres off the inside of the barrel to expose the ‘raw’ oak again to allow it to impart more oak characteristics. Shaved oak is less full on when compared to new oak. With the styles of wine we produce, new oak would be over powering and unbalance the wine. This wine was matured in oak for around 15 months. The barrels were topped once every 2 months, this topping program gives us the best of both worlds during barrel maturation in that we can develop the secondary notes and characteristic but also keep the freshness and elegance of the wine.