The name Ironheart speaks to the reddish ironstone gravel soil and represents the most eloquent expression of Shiraz from our unique Estate. This wine aspires to be a powerhouse, yet showcasing perfume and an elegant side to its dense sanguine character and tannin built structure.
Block 15 (1.8 Ha) produces the most profound Shiraz of the 12 individual Shiraz blocks from the estate. Growing where the 56 million-year-old North Maslin Sandy geology comes to the surface, exposing the broken and weathered vivid red ironstone.
The vines are spur pruned to approximated 24 buds per vine on a single cordon, and shoot thinned to the same number every spring. We use a vertical shoot positioned trellis, but allow approximately half the canopy to be left out in a controlled sprawl, giving us nice dappled light. When bunch closure is complete, we remove any leaves surrounding the bunches to ensure no shading of any fruit.
The vineyard is certified Biodynamic (certification # 11587) with Australian Certified Organic. We have quite a practical approach, with our philosophy focused around healthy and alive soil, which involves no use of synthetic herbicides or fungicides, use of compost and biodynamic preparations, use of sheep in winter to graze under vine, and minimal mechanical soil disruption.
REGION: Kangarilla, McLaren Vale
VINE AGE: 19 years
ELEVATION: 180m above sea level
SOIL TYPE: Ironstone gravels
VITICULTURALIST: Michael Lane
The fruit was hand-picked, 25% of those hand-picked bunches go straight to the open top fermenter. The remainder is 100% de-stemmed and mechanically berry-sorted, with only 50% of that crushed. 5 day cold soak at approximately 10 degrees. The wild fermentation is encouraged as the tank is warmed to approximately 20 degrees. We predominantly plunge, but do a daily rack and return during the peak of fermentation. No pressings are used. The wine is kept on the yeast lees for at least 12 months without any movement from barrel. We only use about 40% new French oak, and the remainder tends to be our best 1 and 2 year-old barrels. Not fined. Bottled in September 2015. Certified Biodynamic.
TA: 6.2 g/L
PRODUCTION: 5784 bottles
WINEMAKER: Peter Fraser & Shelley Torresan
The 2014 growing season was marked by many extremes, with hail in December, extreme heat in January, and rains in February. To our savior, very small yields and March being near perfect, 2014 resulted in powerful, balanced and concentrated wines.
The grapes were hand-picked on the 14th March (leaf/fruit day), and meagerly yielded 28 hectolitres per hectare. As much as we pick on sugar/acid balance, and importantly physiological characters, we also consider the biodynamic calendar where possible, with fruit days and flower days being the most desirable, and a root day avoided.
GOLD MEDAL - McLaren Vale Wine Show 2017
97 points Halliday Wine Companion: "The flagship shiraz with fruit off two blocks, 25% whole bunches, wild yeast, French oak 40% new, aged 15 months then a barrel selection. Quality control in check. It effortlessly reaches a depth of flavour and presence while retaining its verve. Smells of a spice shop next door to a baker, with the dark fruit in line with sprightly acidity and shapely if firm tannins. Stunning now, even brighter future. Drink by 2038." (Halliday Wine Companion 2018)
96 points Huon Hooke: Very deep, dark, saturated red/purple colour; the bouquet is savoury, walnutty and dried-bayleaf scented. The wine is very full-bodied, super-ripe and almost opulent in its proportions. It has density and generous extract, licorice hints and spicy nuances. The finish rolls on and on. A big, bold, solid wine, which will live for decades. Outstanding and loaded with character. (25% whole bunches; 40% new oak; 482 dozen made. Grown on ironstone and sand) (huonhooke.com, June 2017)
96 points Campbell Mattinson: I wasn’t any kind of fan of the 2013 release, but I am of this 2014. It’s biodynamically grown, it sees 25% whole bunches, it’s cold soaked and then fermented wild in open vats before seeing all French oak, 40% new. It’s not only a vineyard selection but a barrel selection; the best barrels of the most distinctive vineyard, kind of thing. 5784 bottles made.
If you’re going to make a powerful statement then give it the scaffolding to endure. This is a McLaren Vale shiraz to reckon with. It’s inky with blackberried fruit flavour, it’s infused with saltbush, it’s sheeted with cedary oak and for all its luxury polish it roars Get Out Of My Way, I’m On The Way To The Future. This is a ship with long anchors of tannin. Go on a fitness kick, eat healthy, do your best to be around in 20 years. This is a shiraz for the ages. (The Wine Front, May 2017)
95 points James Suckling: 'Sexy red with meat, earth, blackberry and quartz aromas that follow through to a full body, round and velvety tannins and a juicy finish.Loads going on here. Love it. Drink now. Screw cap.' (jamessuckling.com. July 2017)
93 points Lisa Perrotti-Brown: "Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2014 Ironheart Shiraz offers upnotions of crushed black cherries, mulberries and plums with hints of chocolate box, licorice, tilled soil, cardamom and Provence herbs plus a hint of black olives. The medium-bodied palate is both harmonious and vivacious, packed with youthful blackberry and exotic spice flavors and a good backbone of ripe, rounded tannins. It finishes long with a pepper and herbal lift." (The Wine Advocate, South Australia Report, August 2017)
97 points James Halliday: “Sombre, earthy black fruits are so intense they momentarily stop the heart from beating. The texture and mouthfeel are such that they throw down the gauntlet to anyone seeking to drink more than a glass at this early (indeed far too early) stage of its life. The balance is spot on the money, so the long-term future is assured. Screwcap. 14.5% alc. Rating 97 To 2053.” (Halliday Wine Companion 2017)
96+ points Lisa Perrotti-Brown: "The 2013 Ironheart Shiraz is another total beauty from Yangarra. The perfume alone is enough to make you swoon! Laced with violets, molten chocolate, cherry liquor, lavender and exotic spices with subtle incense nuances, it's one of those glasses that compels you to sniff again and again. The palate is very restrained and taut at this youthful stage, with firm, grainy tannins and a lively backbone framing the concentrated fruit, finishing long and minerally. Simply stunning." (The Wine Advocate)
95 points Huon Hooke: Very deep, dark red-purple hue and a tremendously concentrated aroma of graphite, pepper, spices and earth. It's very full-bodied and dense, concentrated and firm with tight tannins and relatively little fruit sweetness. Instead, there's amazing structure. The whole-bunch component gives a vegetal note to the complex bouquet. A very big, muscular, powerful wine which needs ages. (14.5% alc.) Tasted 5/4/2016 | Drink 2021 to 2043 (huonhooke.com)
97 points James Halliday: Hand-picked, open fermented, 15 months on lees in French oak (40% new). Full, deep crimson-purple; this is a Shiraz with some of the accoutrements of Cabernet Sauvignon, but without any loss of its core identity; black fruits have great depth and tannin structure, the depth not greater than the length. Power and balance, and an unqualifiedly long future. 372 dozen made. Screwcap. 14.5% alc. Rating 97 To 2052 $100 (Halliday Wine Companion 2016).