Ironheart is the flagship Shiraz from our single vineyard estate at the northern edge of McLaren Vale. The vineyard’s cooler climate and sandy ironstone soils produce Shiraz with immense concentration and finesse.
Sourced from block 15 (1.8 Ha) which lies amongst a gravelly ironstone outcrop (where the North Maslin sand geology comes to the surface). Of the twelve individual blocks of Shiraz on our estate, this block produces the most profound fruit.
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
YEAR PLANTED: 1999
ELEVATION: 180m above sea level
SOIL TYPE: Ironstone gravels
The fruit was hand-picked, and 25% whole bunches retained. The remaining fruit was destemmed and mechanically sorted. 5 day cold soak at approximately 10 degrees. Open fermenters used, wild yeast ferment. Plunging and some gentle délestage occurred during fermentation. The wine was kept on yeast lees in 35% new French oak and 65% older French oak for 15 months. Each year we select individual barrels that showcase the characters of the ironstone that the vine grows in. Certified organic/biodynamic.
TA: 6.5 g/L
YIELD: 31 hL/Ha
94 Points Nick Stock JamesSuckling.com: A very intense nose with instantly complex aromas of dried spices, dried wood, licorice and sappy blackberries and plums. There’s a direct delivery of strong, fine tannin and a core of succulent, redder plum and berry flavors. Concentrated and bedded in deep at the finish. Drink or hold.
96 Points Halliday Wine Companion: Rich complex and mildly tannic; its balance assuring those tannins will settle down and thereafter serve to assure development of the wine
97 points Toni Paterson The Real Review: An outstanding colour with a mulberry hue. Glorious sweet-fruited aromatics. Vibrant, pure, mulberry aromatics. Tight, pure, poised, lively. Not a foot out of place. Perfectly integrated acidity. Magnificent in its composure. Stylish. Will age gracefully. Vibrant and full-bodied
97 points Halliday Wine Companion 2019: Hand-picked, wild yeast open-fermented with 25% whole bunches, matured for 15 months in French oak (40% new). A distilled essence of shiraz from two blocks within a single estate vineyard. It's in no way overdone, but it does have some of the authoritarian stance of top flight cabernet. The black fruits speak in one voice of the ironstone soil in which the vines are planted. Great vintage, great wine. Drink to 2045
95 points Campbell Mattinson - The Wine Front: Hand-picked (organically-grown) grapes. 25% whole bunches. Cold soaked, open fermented, wild yeast, 48% new French oak for 15 months. Brilliant wine. Its quality impresses from the outset. Full-bodied but polite about it. Blackberry, plum, a jellied sweetness, a full serve of cedarwood oak, florals, peppercorns. Pretty in part, gutsy in other, svelte. Tannin rolls and rumbles from the mid-palate onwards but it comes flooded with flavour. Generous and joyous. Drink 2019 – 2032+
95 Points Huon Hooke - The Real Review: Deep, youthful red/purple colour. The bouquet is shy but fresh, bright and clean, with dark plum fruit and quite strongly stated oak. It's very full-bodied, rich and deep, with youthful and slightly undeveloped, tightly-packed flavours, which promise to bring forth more in the future if it's cellared. There's a super-abundancy of tannin as well, balancing the formidable concentration. A big, solid, rugged shiraz. One for the cellar. Drink 2021 - 2043
95 points Nick Stock - jamessuckling.com Top 100 Aus Wines: Dark plums and some lighter redder fruits, as well as spicy, earthy and tarry elements. The palate has a seamless, deep-set and layered mouthfeel with a strong and fresh spine of dark plums. Best from 2021.
GOLD MEDAL - McLaren Vale Wine Show 2017
97 points Halliday Wine Companion: "The flagship shiraz with fruit off96 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).