About This Wine
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.
Handpicked, 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. No new oak was used in the élevage. 2017's Syrah No. 2 contains approximately 50% whole bunch component, although the aim is certainly not to have any 'stems' character. Instead the winemaker hopes to utilise the finesse, structure and perfume that whole bunches can bring. Another exciting development is the inclusion of some parcels of Syrah that were fermented in a pure carbonic maceration style. No sulphur was added pre-ferment, no temperature control, and the wines were bottled without fining or filtration.
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 – This is a fabulous shiraz/syrah. One sip and I was hooked. It bursts with aroma, is rich with fruit, comes laden with all manner of spice notes and extends gorgeously out and through the finish. It’s a complete wine. It plays a Siren song for the Heathcote region as a whole. It has texture, graphite, nut and herb notes oozing from its pores. Blue and black berried fruits. Just simply beautiful.
James Halliday – Hand-picked from the bottom of the block, 40% whole bunches/60% whole berries, including small parcels of carbonic maceration. Powerful, yet supple and smooth, almost velvety, rates 100% on the hedonic scale. Don't open a bottle if you think you are just going to have a glass.