Chapel Hill ‘The Vicar’ Shiraz 2018
Grape Varietal: 100% Shiraz
Growing Region: McLaren Vale - Australia
Winemakers: Michael Fragos & Bryn Richards
I have had the pleasure to visit Chapel Hill Winery on a couple of occasions, along with staying at their stunning retreat. What now serves as the cellar-door tasting room and which is also part of the winery. It was built on the site of the historic Seaview Chapel, which was originally constructed in 1865. With the current vineyards being planted in 1972 and the first vintage release was in 1975.
Under the guidance of the dynamic duo of Michael & Bryn - the ‘Vicar’ is the pinnacle of Chapel Hill's wine expressions, where only the best parcels of fruit come together to form this full bodied McLaren Vale Shiraz with distinction. The grape parcels are meticulously chosen and harvested from selected single-vineyard sites *(including on this occasion; the Lacey Branson Road & Lacey Watilla vineyards) and fermented separately in open fermenters.
Several times a day the grape cap underwent gentle plunging to extract varietal characters, with all of the separate parcel being left on their skins for a minimum of 12 days. For the ‘Vicar' Shiraz they use a basket press, with the free run juice and pressing fractions being combined. During the following 21 months of oak maturation - each individual barrel was racked and returned periodically to seamlessly integrate the tannins. To preserve typicity and the wines rich, complex character, the wine was un-fined and also bottled unfiltered.
★ As you pour a deep rich red colour will fill your glass with a purple hue. On the nose this Shiraz expresses charismatic layers of intense black berries, wild herbs and mixed dried spices. These generous characters carry through onto the opulent palate seamlessly interwoven with the fine tannins, and well balanced oak structure and lushcious texture. The wine has confidence and a multitude of layers and varietal integrity, celebrating those forest berries, deft earthy nuances and raw cacao adding detail and add depth to the palate weight. The wines natural acidity gives an elegance to the long finish.
This 2018 Chapel Hill ‘The Vicar’ McLaren Vale Shiraz has 14.5% Alc./vol. A classic dry style. Decant for 30 - 45 minutes, and serve in a generously shaped red wine glass at 16°- 18°C. *NZ$74.99
CELLARING POTENTIAL: *(Article Posted 21/1/24)
With mild decanting drinking this season, plus it will age gracefully for another 8 - 10 years.
FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTIONS:
Perfect wine pairing with slowly cooked and well-seasoned prime cuts of red meats w/ a rich wine jus, along with wild game dishes, rich earthy vegetarian cuisine and aged, rich cheeses on crusty ciabatta - enjoy.