20 years ago in January I left the winter chill of Switzerland and made the move Down Under to study Wine Science.
As a new graduate one of my early vintage experiences was right here in the Barossa at Rolf Binder. I was introduced to a small parcel of Syrah from a terrific vineyard high in Eden Valley belonging to Rolf’s sister and brother-in-law, Christa and Leon. The vintage was 2007 and this was the vineyard that would launch Michael Hall Wines. Now into its 12th release I become increasingly infatuated with its charismatic violets, lavender, blueberries and spice. A serene summer red from a stunning cool-climate locale.
Hard winter pruning has delivered a tiny bottling of just 1080 bottles so get in quick!
Michael Hall Eden Valley Syrah, Flaxman’s Valley 2018 $55.00
1080 bottles produced
At 520m elevation the Naimanya vineyard is amongst the highest Shiraz vineyards in South Australia. Adjacent to the Kaiserstuhl Conservation Park, redolent with prehistoric rock and vegetation, it’s composed of degraded sandstone and granitic gneiss with a high quartz content.
Hand-picked on the 11th of April, 95% destemmed, wild yeast fermented, pressed and matured for 18 months in French oak hogsheads (20% new, Saint Martin).
“Hand-picked 95% whole berries, 5% whole bunches, 18 months in French oak (20% new), Michael Hall nailed this one. Lively medium-bodied black cherry/berry fruits, spice, pepper, fine-grained tannins, the oak not obtrusive.”
96/100 James Halliday, Halliday Wine Companion 2021
“A very complex style with intense blackberries, blueberries and cloves, together with some forest wood, pepper and crushed dark stone. The palate holds a smooth-toned feel with fine tannins cast long and even. Plenty of blue-fruit flavor here. So polished. Drink over the next decade.”
94/100 Nick Stock, JamesSuckling.com