As the BC weather changes to Fall and hints that the winter is just around the corner my thoughts return to a big, jammy Aussie Shiraz, such as Rockford Old Vine Shiraz from the heart of the Barossa Valley. So when I opened a bottle of Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve Shiraz 2014, memories of youth Downunder rushed back.
Mission Hill’s Reserve wines are handcrafted on the premise of “Selection” – selection in the vineyard and the cellar. They source the fruit from the top 15% of their estate vineyards and 75% of the same vineyard blocks are used to ensure consistency vintage to vintage.
The illustration on the label is an original architect sketch from when Tom Kundig and Anthony von Mandl were designing the winery. The renowned Bell Tower is the focal point surrounded by the hillside where winery sits.
The 2014 Reserve Shiraz was grown in two of our estate vineyards. Osoyoos, the region’s most southern area, is comprised of arid benchlands that benefit from the lake’s effect providing the region with more than 200 frost-free days. This warm climate allows the grapes to completely ripen for full flavour. Black Sage Bench is a diverse vineyard with more than 60 different individual blocks affording us an amazing array of premium quality fruit. The wine was aged 14 months in French and American oak (16% new)
The winemaking team provided the following vintage notes. “The 2014 vintage started well and was near perfect with some calling it the “best ever”! Winter and spring rains followed by encouraging July weather allowed the vines to focus on berry-set along with growing bunches. Hot weather in the summer months and an absence of rain saw the vine respond appropriately, with canopies in excellent balance, however, well thought out drip irrigation was a saviour this year, allowing the vines to maintain sufficient health to ripen. The dry, warm and hot summer produced good growth permitting all varieties to ripen with excellent balance.
Cooler autumn months along with further assistance by rigorous leaf plucking and bunch thinning helped promote distinct varietal flavours. When the Okanagan’s warmest and driest growing season concluded on November 4th, it was judged as challenging but ultimately rewarding. Vineyards lived up to their pedigrees producing outstanding wines for the 2014 vintage.
Shiraz Tasting Notes
The Reserve Shiraz is a medium-bodied wine. It opens like a big fruity Aussie Shiraz but finishes with Okanagan sage, earth and tannin to firm the finish. Inky in colour with aromas of blackberries, violet, and pepper. Favours of black cherries, rosemary, anise, cedar and brambleberry. NWAC17 Bronze Medal Winner.
Alc: 14% RS: Dry TA: 5.9 g/L pH: 3.74
Source: Winemaking notes and Vintage reports courtesy of Mission Hill Winery