It was Ronald Angas, John’s grandfather, who planted the famous ‘Mount Edelstone’ vineyard in the high Eden Valley. Originally part of Hutton Vale, the vineyard was later sold to the Henschke family. However, before it changed hands John's father Colin had the foresight to take cuttings of the Shiraz and plant a new vineyard just to the north, which is now our Hutton Vale vineyard. The 50 year old dry grown Shiraz vines look tortured and weather beaten, but continue to survive in a small pocket of lean red loam and clay soils that are a perfect foil for the natural vigour of this variety. The hot 2008 harvest was followed by a cool but very dry winter leaving the land dry and the dams empty. However, the harsh conditions produced an instinctive response from the wise old vines that set a very low crop for the 2009 vintage in order to survive. The dry vintage conditions in 2009 produced an impossibly small harvest of tiny, intensely flavoured berries. The grapes were de-stemmed and fermented in small open air fermenters prior to basket pressing and transfer to French oak puncheons to complete the ferment. The wine was then racked from its lees and returned to oak for a further 2 years maturation prior to bottling.
The 2009 Shiraz is loaded with brooding dark red fruits, showing some salty-savoury Dutch liquorice notes. The wine finishes with a bright line of acidity, fine, ripe sandy tannins and a sustained finish. Given the strengths of this vintage and the pedigree of the vineyards, it’s expected the wine will continue to evolve and be immensely enjoyable over the first decade of its life.