Thomas Wines 2017 Sweetwater Shiraz
This individual vineyard Hunter Valley shiraz is grown at Sweetwater Ridge in the northern (Belford) end of the Lower Hunter Valley. Planted in 1998, the red/brown loamy soils over limestone are what give this wine its distinctive floral lift and character. The relatively vigourous vines are usually crop thinned to around 4-5 tonnes per hectare each year which ensures even ripening and produces wonderfully concentrated fruit.
Harvested on the 11th and 12th of February, the fruit was fully ripe and in excellent condition. The fermentation was allowed to get quite warm at the start and then cooled towards the finish to ensure we achieved the right tannin structure and maximum colour extraction. The inclusion of 10% whole bunches into the fermentation has added a subliminal stalky complexity. Matured in French (95%) and American (5%) oak barriques for 15 months, with the small amount of (premium quality) American oak used to accentuate the complex sweet floral lift.
The Sweetwater shiraz is true to form with its distinctive floral notes of violets and potpourri, but the 2017 vintage has provided a pretty, perfumed red and blue fruited frame, and a lengthy, supple tannin profile. The deliciously intense mid palate provides some awesome current drinking appeal, but will also reward with some patient cellaring.
Drink 2018 – 2025+