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Mclaren Vale Shiraz is inherently suited to the Grey Label style, rich, plush and powerful, yet with an approachability that provides sheer enjoyment throughout its evolution over time in bottle.
Grey Label Shiraz was sourced from vineyards ranging in altitudes from about 50m near the coast to 200m where McLaren Vale merges with the Adelaide Hills, bringing complexity and layers of interest to the final wine. The region mostly spans two basins of ancient bedrock layered with sediments laid down by advances and retreats of the sea over the past 45 million years. Soil types vary from sands, yellow clays, and red and black loams through to ironstone.
Individual vineyard batches were fermented in small open-top fermenters for 5 to 10 days. Plunging and gentle irrigation were used to work the cap and optimise flavour, colour and tannin extraction, providing for concentration and depth of fruit flavour, while keeping tannins plush, hallmarks of the Grey Label style. Select batches completed fermentation in barrel, contributing mid-palate texture, while others finished fermentation on skins, providing structural length and focus.
“Fermentation was completed in new French and American barrels, then matured in those barrels for 15 months before blending and bottling. Vivid colour; the winemakers of McLaren Vale agree '17 is among the greatest ever vintages for the region, and this proves that belief. My only reservation is the amount of oak. On the basis that fans of Wolf Blass know the predilection for French oak, I'm giving way on the oak issue."
“This is sourced from McLaren. An elegantly structured shiraz displaying vibrant blackberry and spicy licorice notes on the nose.The palate is supremely balanced with fine oak and tannin integration. Dark choccies and spicy blackberry flavours work together. Nice floral notes add another dimension. (Best drinking: Now to 2030)”
"From vineyards in McLaren Vale, this is matured in (new) French and American oak for 15 months.
It’s as you would expect, heavy fruit and heavy oak, though there’s a freshness to the profile this time around that is most appealing. It’s always a brute of a wine but it punches you with old suede kid gloves this year. Vanilla-cream, mint, blueberry and sweet plums. Al dente tannin is just the right complement to the smooth of pour of flavour. It’s a very good rendition of Grey Label Shiraz."
Aromatic blue fruits are complexed
with notes of dark chocolate, warm
spice and subtle nougat oak
Medium to full bodied, the blue berried fruits are succulent and plush, filling the mouth without being heavy. The tannins are velvety and powdery, framing the palate and providing texture and length.
McLaren Vale lies nestled between the Mt Lofty Ranges and the rolling white sand beaches of Gulf St Vincent. With its warm Mediterranean climate, relaxed coastal ambience and superb local produce, McLaren Vale is a melting pot of food, wine and the arts: the ultimate epicurean destination. The region is renowned for its soft and velvety Shiraz, with pronounced berry, spice and chocolate flavours.
Wolf Blass winemaker Marie Clay discovered wine through her Dad's stellar collection of South Australian reds. Like all good fathers, he stocked up on the birth year of his two daughters. In Marie's case, that just happened to be a lovely bottle of 1979 Wolf Blass Black Label, which was cracked at her 21st birthday.
After graduating in 2000 from the University of Adelaide with first Class honours in Oenology, Marie received the Southcorp wine scholarship. This allowed her to travel and work with the company’s best winemakers across the Australian wine regions of Coonawarra, Barossa, Sunraysia and Great Western. Following these experiences, Marie worked with Lindeman’s for 4 years at both their NSW and Victorian wineries, overseeing white wine production.
In December 2006 Marie joined the Wolf Blass winemaking team in the Barossa, where she relished the opportunity to work with premium red wines from vineyard to bottle. She loves working in a modern winery that allows the fruit's potential to be realised. Langhorne Creek and McLaren Vale, the heartland regions of the Grey Label range, are particularly close to her heart.