In the Vineyard
The Shiraz vines carry a maximum of 8 tonnes per hectare with excess fruit crop-thinned at veraison. To help reduce crop levels, this vineyard is non-irrigated and cane-pruned, like all Picardy vineyards.
A portion of the Shiraz fruit is ripened to approximately 12.5° baume to give lively perfumed characters but the majority is ripened to around 13° baume. The fruit is then handpicked and transported to the adjacent winery, on the Picardy estate.
In the Winery
In the winery, about 5% of the fruit is placed in the small overhead fermenters as whole bunch and then the remainder is destemmed and pumped into the fermenters. It is then given up to 4 days’ pre-fermentation cold maceration. The fermentation is carried out at between 28 and 32 degrees Celsius for 10 to 14 days or until the cap sinks. During fermentation the wine is hand-plunged 3 times per day.
The wine and skins are run out of the fermenter into the airbag press. The skins are then pressed firmly.
The different ferments are then blended at this stage to allow maximum integration time.
After settling, the wine is transferred into a combination of new to four year old French oak barriques and about 3% American oak. While in oak the wine undergoes malolactic fermentation, lees ageing (to add complexity and structure) and each barrel is checked and topped up every week. The Shiraz is generally racked three times during its oak maturation.
After twelve months in oak the wine is racked out of barrel to tank and then given a gentle filtration on its way to bottle.