The name Ironheart speaks to the reddish ironstone gravel soil and represents the most eloquent expression of Shiraz from our unique Estate. This wine aspires to be a powerhouse, yet showcasing perfume and an elegant side to its dense sanguine character and tannin built structure.
Block 15 produces the most profound Shiraz of the 12 individual Shiraz blocks from the estate. Growing where the 56 million-year-old North Maslin Sandy geology comes to the surface, exposing the broken and weathered vivid red ironstone. The vines are spur pruned to approximated 24 buds per vine on a single cordon, and shoot thinned to the same number every spring. We use a vertical shoot positioned trellis, but allow approximately half the canopy to be left out in a controlled sprawl, giving us nice dappled light. When bunch closure is complete, we remove any leaves surrounding the bunches to ensure no shading of any fruit. The 2014 growing season was marked by many extremes, with hail in December, extreme heat in January, and rains in February. To our savior, very small yields and March being near perfect, 2014 resulted in powerful, balanced and concentrated wines. The grapes were hand-picked on the 14th March (leaf/fruit day), and meagerly yielded 28 hectolitres per hectare. As much as we pick on sugar/ acid balance, and importantly physiological characters, we also consider the biodynamic calendar where possible, with fruit days and flower days being the most desirable, and a root day avoided. The vineyard is certified Biodynamic (certification # 11587) with Australian Certified Organic. We have quite a practical approach, with our philosophy focused around healthy and alive soil, which involves no use of synthetic herbicides or fungicides, use of compost and biodynamic preparations, use of sheep in winter to graze under vine, and minimal mechanical soil disruption.
The fruit was hand-picked, 25% of those hand-picked bunches go straight to the open top fermenter. The remainder is 100% de-stemmed and mechanically berry-sorted, with only 50% of that crushed. 5 day cold soak at approximately 10 degrees. The wild fermentation is encouraged as the tank is warmed to approximately 20 degrees. We predominantly plunge, but do a daily rack and return during the peak of fermentation. No pressings are used. The wine is kept on the yeast lees for at least 12 months without any movement from barrel. We only use about 40% new French oak, and the remainder tends to be our best 1 and 2 year-old barrels. Not fined. Bottled in September 2015. Certified Biodynamic.