And with this release the transition from Graillot Project to Place of Changing Winds is complete.
This is a step towards releases that are entirely reflective of the single site. It's a wine that reflects a continued desire to produce wines of great finesse from a region historically known for powerhouse reds.
The Syrah No. 2 comes mostly from short- and medium-length macerations (one to two weeks) and is made with 100% whole cluster, natural yeast fermentations and no sulphur additions until well after malolactic. Bottling occurred after 12 months ageing in neutral oak and in a range of different formats: 1000lt, 2000lt, barriques, 500lt and 600lt.
A spicy, medium-bodied Syrah, closer in weight to many Northern Rhône wines than what we typically expect from Heathcote. It offers loads of spice, energy and drive, and the complex aromas and flavours of dark plum, olive, bay leaf and tobacco.
Place of Changing Winds is the vineyard project of Bibendum’s founder and owner Robert Walters. It is a single site in the Macedon Ranges of Victoria where Walters and his team began planting in 2012. The POCW site is very close to Bindi and lies on the same geological belt and yet there are very clear differences. When it comes to geology and climate, things change very quickly. Regardless, this is certainly an area with a proven track record for quality Pinot and Chardonnay. This made the choice of varieties pretty simple. To be precise, the vineyard is in a little hamlet called Bullengarook, between Mount Bullengarook and Mount Macedon, in the hills above Gisborne, about one-hour north-west of Melbourne.
The practice: ‘No compromise, no regrets’ is the motto here with Rob drawing on his years of experience observing many of the great growers of Europe and translating what he considered to be ‘best practice’ to his particular setting. To understand how to establish and manage this kind of vineyard took a lot of research and has been the result of some 25 years of engagement with the best European growers.
All of the vineyard practices are designed to maximise life in the soil, which in turn, ensures a strong connection between the plant and its environment. They are also designed to maximise the health of the vine and to drive the vine roots down, where they can explore the sub-soil (for water and minerals).
The name: Our vineyard lies in an area that was called Warekilla by the original inhabitants, the Wurundjeri people. In their language, Warekilla meant Place of Changing Winds (a characteristic of the site that still holds true today).
HUON HOOKE - THE REAL REVIEW
Deepish red/purple colour. Intense whole-bunchy ferment aromas, stemmy and slightly green, but undeniably fragrant. Pepper-spice. The wine is light to medium-weight and leanish, quite elegant and understated. It's a very bunchy style that just needs a bit of time to come together and soften a little. It has the makings of a charmer.
CAMPBELL MATTINSON - THE WINE FRONT
"Formerly known as Graillot Project Syrah No 2. Syrah from Heathcote. It’s definitely savoury, it’s nicely textural and it’s been well shaped. Adept winemaking is in clear evidence and the medium-bodied fruit on offer is attractive. I like all the scents and flavours of the nose and palate but the trailing bitterness of the aftertaste kept pulling me up. I looked at this wine over and over and it kept popping up at me. This bitterness is not a big factor in the wine and it’s only a smidgen too much but it is there. I wouldn’t be surprised if, given another year or two in bottle, all has been righted."