About This Wine
As always both the Graillot Syrah and the Syrah No. 2 come from the same, 3.3 hectare vineyard. The Graillot Syrah tends to come from the top of the block while the Syrah No. 2 comes from further down the slope. Ultimately however the wines are made via a barrel selection with the aim being to select the most refined, perfumed and elegant barrels for the Graillot label. Hand-picked, a combination of whole bunch and destemmed fruit was transferred to open top fermenters of various sizes (from 1 tonne 'flower pots' to 4 tonne fermenters). It was then pressed off to large format, older wood for ageing for 13 months and bottled without fining or filtration. No new oak was used in the élevage. 2015's Syrah contains approximately 50% whole bunch component.
The Heathcote wine region in central Victoria is well known for its excellent red wines, most notably Shiraz. Heathcote reds are defined by their inky depth of colour, and deep, dark complex fruit flavours. This is combined with well balanced tannins and acid that help to give the wines great cellaring potential.
All this is made possible by the terroir. The Heathcote region sits at between 160m and 380m elevation with a temperate climate of even rainfall. The soils are rich in calcium red soils made up of “greenstone”. These soils are prized for their water retention capabilities allowing them to drain freely but still hold enough water throughout the growing season. The grapes that result are small and concentred which in turn make rich concentrated wines.
The Wine Front – Graillot Syrah, as opposed to the No.2 incarnation, is from the higher grounds of the vineyard and is intended as a finer style. Less meat, finer bones kind of thing. It meets the brief. This is certainly a fine-fingered wine. Delicate and detailed without being wimpy. Boysenberry and red/black cherries, spots of spice, a gentle meatiness, m a floral aspect. Built on acidity and lattice-like tannin – and spice – more than it is on any real punch of fruit. Lovely to drink, for sure.
James Halliday – Hand-picked from the top of the block, 50% whole bunches, 50% whole berries, including small parcels of carbonic maceration. Excellent colour; has more texture to the palate than Project No. 2, and is more elegant. A Socratean style (Socrates dissatisfied). The dried herb/spice nuances add something No. 2 lacks, but that's not the end of the story. Two very different and accessible wines.