A hallmark of the Utopos Vineyard on Roennfeldt Road is the pitch perfect acid/ tannin balance we can achieve in fully ripened fruit. This provides for delicious, highly approachable wines in their youth, whilst enabling them to develop over a 10-15 year period, and maybe more. The 2021 vintage was almost impossibly perfect, and has produced a series of red wines that will continue to showcase the amazing potential of this site for many years to come. Mild weather from bud burst in late September to harvest across March and April provided ideal conditions for steady, even canopy development, fruit set and ripening. The rain cycle through spring, summer and autumn was perfectly timed, providing regular refreshment to the vines, and maintaining a modest amount of sub soil moisture, resulting in average yields of approximately 1.5 tonne per acre.
This wine is a construct of fruit harvested from the best Shiraz blocks (harvested on the 25th of February )of the Utopos vineyard that varies substantially in aspect – with blocks facing all points of the compass – and soil composition across an undulating landscape. In particular, the sandy heavy red loam soils intersected with black cracking clays that are the feature of the south eastern block bring incredible complexity to a wine that abounds with red and black fruits, and touches of mocha. After a 5 day cold soak period, the fruit was allowed to gradually warm to kick off a slow ferment over 7 days on skins with twice daily pumpovers before being pressed off to seasoned French 4,600 litre foudres for 18 months, alongside a smaller selection of new and seasoned French hogsheads (maximum 3rd use). The final blend saw a small addition of around 5% utopos cabernet sauvignon.
The wine shows a beautiful spice lead on the nose, with black fruits following. The key to the character of this wine is the stunningly fresh acidity, making the wine so pure, bright and fresh on the palate. It’s definitely a handsomely proportioned wine, abundant in flavour concentration, but the tannins and acid bring structure and freshness to the pure fruit that drives down the length of the palate.
This will really hit the mark as a 10 year old, and kick on for another decade after that.