Bannockburn De La Roche Shiraz 2011


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The Wine

Only 250 dozen made. This is the very first release from Bannockburn's close-planted, dry-grown De La Roche vineyard. Planted in 2007, the site lies on higher ground above the De La Terre block, so essentially it's a westerly extension of Serré. The vines came from cuttings taken from Best's and Tahbilk, and were planted on a mix of rootstock and own roots. The whole plot covers just 0.8ha. The name, "from the rocks", alludes to the plethora of volcanic rocks that litter the soil of this parcel. The planting density of 10,000 vines per hectare results in a naturally low yield of just 500g per vine (or less). To put this in perspective, Bannockburn's old-vine Shiraz from the Range vineyard - already a low-yielding site - crops closer to 1.5-2kg per vine. Confirming his theory that yield trumps vine age, Glover notes that the quality of fruit from this five-year-old vineyard is already outgunning the older site. Of course the wine is hand harvested and in 2011, at least, it was fully destemmed. The result is a wonderfully pure, pulpy and elegant expression of Victorian Shiraz. Super fine, fragrant and spicy, it is a quite remarkable first release from this exciting new vineyard. Destined to become a benchmark of the 'medium bodied Shiraz' genre in Australia. The first release of a new closely planted (10,000 vines per hectare) shiraz; fully destemmed and wild yeast-fermented, it spent 12 months in puncheons (one-third new) and a second year in five-year-old French barriques. Bright colour of medium depth, it has a vibrant display of black and red cherry fruit, the medium-bodied palate supple and long, the finish speaking of fine tannins and quality oak. 95 points. James Halliday, Australian Wine Companion 2014