The first Picardy Shiraz was produced in 1997. An elegant, complex, rich, Rhone style wine, this variety is exceeding expectations and will continue to improve through cellaring.
Dan says that this wine is made a lot like a traditional Burgundy but using Shiraz grapes, giving a wine in the style of the traditional Rhone reds.
Its points of excellence include: excellent colour, pronounced fruit flavour, low pH without high acidity and fine grained tannins. This is a complex wine.
In The Vineyard
The Shiraz vines carry a maximum of 8 tonnes per hectare with excess fruit crop thinned at veraison. To help keep crop levels down, this vineyard is non-irrigated and cane pruned, like all Picardy vineyards.
A portion of the Shiraz fruit is ripened to approximately 12.5° baume to give lively perfumed characters but the majority is ripened to around 13.5° baume. The fruit is then hand picked and transported (approximately 200m) to the winery, on the Picardy estate.
In The Winery
In the winery it is destemmed, lightly crushed and pumped into small overhead fermenters. One portion of the Shiraz is not crushed or destemmed and is instead given pre fermentation cold maceration. The fermentation is carried out at between 28 and 32 degrees Celcius for 10 to 14 days or until the cap sinks. During fermentation the wine is hand plunged 3 times per day.
The wine and skins are run out of a bottom door of the fermenter into the airbag press. The must is then pressed firmly.
The different ferments are then blended at this stage to allow maximum integration time, where most wineries blend post maturation.
The wine is settled for 48 hours and then transferred into a combination of new to four year old French oak barriques and 5% American oak. While in oak the wine undergoes malo-lactic fermentation, lees ageing (to add complexity and structure) and each barrel is checked and topped up every fortnight to prevent oxidation in the headspace, thus preventing formation of volatile acidity. This is facilitated by all of our barrels being at floor level, not stacked. If required the wine may be racked during its oak maturation.
After twelve months in oak the wine is racked out of barrel to tank and then given a light filtration on its way to bottle.