Follow up vintage to the 2017 Shiraz, which scored 97 points from James Halliday and had everyone madly seeking out the wares of winemaker Matt East (but given the tiny-make, it was almost a fools quest!)
Once again Matt and the winemaking guru's behind Rouleur (Paul 'Carps' Carpenter at Wirra Wirra lends a hand where he can) have delivered a stunning rendition of the modern McVale Shiraz... all crunchy tannins, raspberry acidity and bright, almost floral aromatics. Working with 40% wholebunch fruit, and picked marginally earlier from a dry-grown vineyard in Blewitt Springs (the alcohol sits at 13.4%, more akin to the Adelaide Hills) this wine has a refreshing, sappy quality that speaks volumes of the winemaking talent here. It delivers generosity and intensity, but not in jam-packed fruit weight, moreso in the overall sum-of-its qualitative parts.
I will leave it to Andrew Graham of the ozwinereview.com.au who summed it up best when answering his own rhetorical question:
'Would I buy it? In a second. I've told Matt before that his wines are too cheap, and here's another example'
"Our 2018 Shiraz hails from a single, dry-grown vineyard in Blewitt Springs, McLaren Vale.
Expertly farmed and managed, the elevated Springs Hill site tracks a regionally cooler path on soils consisting of maslin sand over ironstone clay and gravels. The fruit from here is consistent in quality and provides us wine with intensity and flavour wrapped around fine structural bones.
In vintage 2018 we opted to handpick early with the aim of capturing brightness and vitality, avoiding any dried-out or raisined fruit character that can result from too much ‘hang time’ in the South Australian heat.
At the winery we meticulously handsorted bunches before processing. Up to 40% of fruit was tipped straight into an open top fermenter as whole bunches and footstomped, whilst the remainder was gently destemmed into it’s own pot for fermentation.
The whole bunches started fermenting without encouragement and the destemmed pot kicked off naturally after 5 days cold soaking and fermented evenly with irregular pump overs to dryness.
Our destemmed ferment remained on skins (post) for 2 weeks, with daily tasting until the decision to press was made. To avoid picking up any undesired herbal or stemmy characters we opted to press the whole bunch portion warm, draining to tank and once dry, racked to old 500L puncheons for MLF and maturation.
Both parcels were racked off gross lees only once during the winter months and kept separate until blending in tank where the wine was lightly filtered before bottling in February 2019."
Winemaker - Matt East
The 2018 Rouleur Shiraz has violet perfumes, blue and red fruits, tilled earth and complex cardamom spice. Whole bunch tends to drive the fragrance without being dominant or green in any way. With a concentrated core of flavor, our Shiraz is mid-weight but intense. There’s mouth perfume and juicy fruit aplenty, along with spritely acid and sandy edged tannins to finish.
Matt East grew up in the Yarra Valley and worked in the family vineyard from a young age. After nearly 20 years in the wine industry, East set about creating his own wine brand which was based on a promise to his late father some years earlier. Rouleur (roller) was inspired by long rides in the Yarra Valley, where he grew up and his adopted home in McLaren Vale, where he recently worked. Exploring both regions by bike helped East source quality fruit and vineyards in both the Yarra Valley and McLaren Vale. Starting with Pinot Noir from the family’s original Coldstream vineyard, East and winemaker Rob Hall collaborate on three additional wines under the Rouleur label – Chardonnay from the Upper Yarra Valley together with a Grenache and Shiraz both from elevated Blewitt Springs vineyards in McLaren Vale.
ANDREW GRAHAM - OZWINEREVIEW.COM
I think he’s nailed it – a clever McLaren Vale Shiraz with moderation yet great intensity. It weighs in at just 13.4% alcohol, though you’d never call it a light weight at all. Sourced from a single vineyard at Blewitt Springs, there’s 40% whole bunches in the mix and it exclusively sees older oak (more background details here). What I like about this red, and the rest of Matt’s wines is that sense of restraint. Of fruit picked earlier than everyone else, with a reliance on acidity and delicacy rather than weight and extract. This Shiraz is very much in that mode, with this full mid palate but without that tarriness you see in riper Vale Shiraz. In fact, you could close your eyes and this could come across as more Adelaide Hills than the Vale at all. Ultimately this is the sort of McLaren Vale Shiraz that I’d want to drink. Best drinking: Now to ten years plus. 18.5/20, 94/100. Would I buy it? In a second. I’ve told Matt before that his wines are too cheap, and here’s another example.