The Naimanya vineyard sits high in the Eden Valley at 520 metres altitude, on the south-west fringe of the tiny sub-region known as Flaxman Valley. The soils are sandy loam, gravel and quartz over clay. Its altitude and soil structure allow a long, slow ripening season typically generating marked spice and floral characters.
Fair winter rains and a warm first week of September promoted early budburst. A hot summer was broken by rain mid-February and cool temperatures thereafter. The very small crop was picked on 4th April, all destemmed, fermented in closed puncheon and open fermenter. Matured in French Oak (25% new) for 20 months. Unfiltered.
Vivid carmine red, sweet blueberry and redcurrant, dark chocolate, violet and rose-scented with delicate talcy tannins.
Michael Hall grew up in England, where he originally built a career in jewellery evaluation, even working for Sotheby’s in Switzerland at one point. Whilst he worked with priceless gems every day, wine was his real passion and so, at the ripe old age of 40, he decided to bring his wine dream to reality, applying for an Australian student visa and enrolling in Wine Science at Charles Sturt University, where he graduated dux in 2005. Taking advantage of the inverse hemisphere seasons, Michael worked stints in Australia with Cullen, Giaconda, Henschke, Shaw + Smith, Coldstream Hills and Veritas; in France with Domaine Leflaive, Meo-Camuzet, Vieux Telegraphe andTrevallon. He then spent four formative years as winemaker for Barossa contract winemaker, Moppa Vintners, before establishing Michael Hall Wines.
JAMES HALLIDAY - HALLIDAY'S WINE COMPANION
Hand-picked, 85% destemmed and open-fermented, 15% in a puncheon, matured in French oak (10% new) for 20 months, 295 dozen made. A very attractive shiraz with bright red cherry fruits and a spicy/savoury ball bouncing off each other. Fresh, juicy and bright, it has an airy elegance.
Really complex and faceted spices and stony, flinty elements with bright red fruits, oak spices and a gently meaty edge. There’s depth and detail on the palate, as well as sturdy long and bright red plums and spices. Dark cherries and smooth tannins to close. Drink now or hold. Screw cap.
CAMPBELL MATTINSON - THE WINE FRONT
Michael Hall makes exquisitely tailored wines as a matter of course. This is good from every angle. Volume, finesse, length, shape, those little extra intricacies. You name it. Both spice and tannin ripple through the wine; cloves, blackberries, washes of boysenberry and fresh plum, hints of cedarwood and earth flavours combine to hold your interest. Nothing pokes out but it’s all there if you go looking. Tannin is fine for the most part but keeps an extra growl for the absolute finish, in a good way.