“Fine wine owes all its qualities to the vineyard”
I read Brian Croser’s words 20 years ago while zealously studying Wine Science at Charles Sturt University. It was a touch demoralising, and it took me a few years to appreciate his wisdom! For better or worse any wine produced from a single site or “zone of characteristic performance” will be distinct, in ways subtle or overt, from all other wines.
We call our Mount Torrens and Flaxman’s Valley wines “Syrah” in recognition of the floral perfume and spicy undertones that characterise the best cool-climate Shiraz. The Lilliputian Fife Road vineyard lies under the rain shadow of the eastern Adelaide Hills. Its sparse four acres on yellow clay provide slim pickings for the resident roos. But when enough fruit is saved it’s transformed into a unique wine, intense with a smorgasbord of charcuterie, menthol, red liquorice, black cherry and aromatic pepper.
The inaugural release was 2015, awarded Shiraz of Show and Wine of Show at the Adelaide Hills Wine Show, and today we're delighted to release the captivating 2018 awarded 98/100 in Decanter.com
The Fife Road vineyard sits at an elevation of 480m in the Mount Torrens region of the Adelaide Hills. The soils are fractured yellow clay on a south-easterly aspect. Late ripening and low yielding the vineyard typically produces sweet, spicy and aromatic fruit.
Good winter rain led into a hot January, cooling mid-February with slower ripening thereafter. Hand-picked on 6 April, all destemmed to open fermenter, hand-plunged with 10 days on skins, matured for 14 months in French oak, no fining or filtration.
“Barossa-based winemaker Michael Hall came to the Adelaide Hills searching for a specific type of cool-climate Shiraz site, and found it on a 480m vineyard at Mount Torrens. It delivers a heady perfume of wild bramble, herbs and meadow grass – frisky and vivacious. Bold, dark fruit flavours reinforce this, through slinky layers of black cherry, sharp cranberry, dried sage, dark plum and cinnamon, and deliberate black tannic grip through the long finish.” 98/100 David Sly, Decanter.com
"Wow. This is decadent and very rich with so much meat, game and ripe fruit. Full, very rich and flavorful. Fantastic finish. A wild wine." 95/100 Nick Stock, Jamessuckling.com
“Michael Hall doing elegant Adelaide Hills syrah. Fleshy textured syrah loaded with white pepper, green herbs, red berries. Really pretty, very elegant, that sense of elevated syrah perfume, spice, density but freshness. A beautiful, rolling feast of character and sensuality. Such a delightful thing to luxuriate with. Class act.” 94/100 Mike Bennie, The Wine Front
“Sourced from the Mount Torrens district, 14 months in French oak. The nose swirls with blackberry liqueur notes. The palate is similarly rich in flavour, with a fine chalky tannin coating securing a long, opulent finish” 94/100 Tony Love, Halliday Wine Companion 2022