Region: McLaren Vale Grapes: Shiraz First Glance: Black Fruit, Lifted Perfume, Elegant Tannin
The Wine: The Shiraz grapes for Midnight Hour are sourced from two blocks in Andre Bondar and Selina Kelly's own Rayner Vineyard. Planted in 1960 and 1990 on the Seaview side of the vineyard on red/brown clay over limestone, these vines are farmed using organic principles and without irrigation where possible. The soil and age of the vines result in smaller, more open canopies that allow for lots of sunlight to reach the developing bunches. This ensures that stems used in the fermentation are lignified, increasing the complexity of the finished wine.
The 2022 vintage was similar to 2021. with La Niña driving a cooler-than-usual summer and autumn. Thankfully the wet conditions that can also be a feature of this weather pattern missed Bondar's McLaren Vale home. The cooler conditions delayed the start of vintage by two weeks, so the team was harvesting into the shorter days and longer nights of autumn. Given the stable ripening, Shiraz had more time on the vine, with no rush to pick. The resulting profile brings together red and black fruits with a lot of aromatic lift and a slightly lighter mouthfeel from the cool year. The bunches for Midnight Hour were harvested by hand and fermented with 100% of their stems. Andre and Selina learned the technique during their time working harvest in the northern Rhône. The wine from each batch aged in used French oak for 15 months. The result is a Shiraz with layers of complex flavour, yet an intriguing, textural, black fruit-laden palate.