1837 Bloodline Shiraz

It starts with a Black Sheep.

Over 185 years ago Hugh’s great great grandfather Richard Hamilton was an honourable tailor on the high streets of Dover but by the light of the moon, Richard was smuggling contraband Bordeaux across the English Channel.

Richard, his wife Ann and eight of their children left England in 1837 for the emerging colony of South Australia.

When they arrived Richard noticed something was missing in the colony, wine! He sent an SOS to friends in South Africa who sent out grape vine cuttings dipped in wax to preserve their freshness. Richard Hamilton was the first person to plant vines in South Australia, unwittingly starting an industry South Australia is now world famous for.

His first three varietals Grenache, Shiraz and Pedro Ximenez.

Winemaker's Notes

The Shiraz is the product of three separate vineyards. The key to the blend, and almost half of the total, is a vineyard on a steep slope at the northern extreme of McLaren Vale. With the boundary of McLaren Vale just a short distance from the edge of the plot this is the most elevated and also the most lifted of the Shiraz in the blend. To this we added roughly 25% of the best block in our Black Sheep Vineyard, Block 4. Although normally reserved for our Black Blood III, it added so much intensity to the blend that it proved irreplaceable. A third component was necessary to add depth to the palate and to complement the high tone aromatics. The answer lay in the middle of our Church Block in the 21 rows of Shiraz that usually make Black Blood II. The generosity of the palate grounded the flightiness of the other two shiraz, easing them into a satisfying whole.

Bouquet & Palate

Elusive and beguiling the aromatics shift between lifted fresh fruit - blackberries, rapsberries – and fine spice characters – sandalwood, cinnamon, cardamom. The result is forceful yet brilliantly deft. Ultimately a complex and compelling wine that unfolds slowly in the glass.

Food Match

Black Dorper saltbush mutton in vine leaves, braised shoulder, verjuice peas and tendrils, heirloom potato