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Alain Graillot Heathcote Syrah 2014

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A low yielding vintage sees this wine with a little more concentration than the prior, but it still maintains its savoury roots and medium bodied nature. Good from Heathcote! - Chris L

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Distributor Note:

The Graillot Australia Project is a collaboration between Northern Rhône legend Alain Graillot and our own Robert Walters. The venture begins and ends with a special 3.3ha plot in Heathcote (that we have nicknamed Clos Graillot); a vineyard chosen for its ability to produce highly aromatic, pure, precise and super refined wines. The site is an east-facing, close-planted (5500 vines per hectare), hillside vineyard in the Mt Camel Ranges “sub-region” and both Rob and Alain believe that it is capable of producing world-class Shiraz or Syrah of immense purity and finesse. It’s a slow-ripening site with very rocky soils and a neutral pH. Here full physiological ripeness occurs at 12-13 degrees potential alcohol. Every decision taken in the vineyard and winery is aimed at maximising the quality, expression of place, intensity and finesse of the final wines. The upper and lower slopes of the vineyard are hand-picked separately. This is a geological division: upper slope is far rockier, producing smaller bunches and ripening later. This in turn strongly influences the style and flavour profile of the wine produced from the two pickings- with the upper slope tending to produce the more mineral, tightly wound, Graillot style of wine and the lower slope, the more open, fleshy, Syrah No 2. The juice is then fermented in open-top fermenters of various sizes (from 1 tonne “flower pots” to 4 tonne). It is not inoculated with yeast so fermentation progresses slowly, with a natural cold soak and temperature held at 27-30 °C. The wines are then pressed off to older wood where malo starts naturally and progresses slowly. Bottling occurs fairly early to maximise freshness and the wines are bottled without fining nor filtration. Sulphur is kept to a minimum throughout the process. Ultimately the Graillot Syrah and Syrah No 2 wines are made via a barrel selection with the aim being to produce the most refined, perfumed and elegant (yet deep and age-worthy!) wine possible.

Although the project has been running a number of years, with a number of trial wines, 2010 was the first vintage where Alain and Rob felt that they had truly succeeded in nailing their vision: to produce a truly sophisticated, restrained and linear expression of Australian Syrah. This process started with identifying the best vineyard and then a particular part of this vineyard with a particular clone. Alain Graillot was invited to be involved for obvious reasons, he is a doyen of Syrah, but also because he was truly intrigued by the possibility of producing this kind of wine in Australia. The conditions of his involvement were simple: only if we could produce the highest quality wine with the kind of elegance for which he is renowned and that he likes to drink, would Alain be willing to put his name to this project. In the end it was the 2010 wines that convinced Alain and the rest is history. To say Alain has been fundamental to the project’s success (in quality terms) is a profound understatement. This project could not have occurred without him. At every level, his remarkable level of knowledge on all things Syrah and his depth of experience have been defining. In fact, Alain’s contribution has exceeded even our highest expectations. We do not believe we could've come close to achieving the quality of the inaugural 2010 Graillot Syrah, without Alain's intimate involvement. Yes, he took some convincing to get on board the project, but today he is genuinely proud of what has been achieved. So are we. We hope you will see why when you taste the wines below.

Additional Information

Volume (ml)750ml
Winemaking PracticesMinimal Intervention
Vineyard PracticesOrganic/Biodynamic
Product typeWine Red Shiraz

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