From the cracking vintage of 2014, we are super excited to see this wine go to bottle. In our 6th year for Hart & Hunter and the fourth Ablington Shiraz we have produced, it’s the best vintage we have seen yet. For the first time in several years, it was a perfect lead-up to vintage with good winter rains, cool night time temperatures, and no rain pressure at the crucial time of harvest, giving us the luxury of watching our fruit ripen and taking the time to pick at optimal ripeness.
Provenance & Vinification
With each year we are finding the fruit gets better & better from Ablington. The vineyard is approximately 30+ years old now, A north-east facing vineyard with rich free draining soils, has produced a wine of true Hunter style, with loads of spicy and savoury goodness and slick mineral tannins. The light/medium clay soil of this vineyard tends to stay cooler and retain water better, giving us sumptuous fruit, but underlying structure and weight. The fruit was partly handpicked and partly machine harvested on the 9th of February, we crushed and de-stemmed the leaving it to cold soak for 3 days for maximum colour extraction. The juice was inoculated and fermented on skins in open stainless fermenters, with plunging 3-4 times per day. At completion of ferment, the wine was racked into a mix of new French and 1 year old oak barrels for approximately 11 months.
There are some vintages that you just sit back and go wow, and 2014 was one of those, producing a wine showing length, weight and complexity. A bigger blend for us this year as there was just so much great material to work with. The resulting wine is savoury yet very primary, an old school style similar to that of the original Hunter River Burgundies. A beautiful purity of fruit that we see year after year from the Ablington Vineyard, true to its roots is deep red in colour and at the first whiff of dark chocolate and leather you know you are in for a treat. The palate offers mulberries, black pepper, spice, and all wrapped up in gorgeous French oak.
We are eating this with slow roasted lamb on spicy noodles.
A great wine drinking now, but should see 10+ years with some cellaring.