St Hallett’s inaugural annual vintage

November 11, 2020
By Ioni Doherty

This year is St Hallett’s inaugural annual vintage release with the winery set to unveil two new vintage wines, the highly acclaimed 2016 Old Block Shiraz and 2018 Blackwell Shiraz, along with three brand new releases -the 2018 Higher Earth Syrah, 2018 Mighty Ox Shiraz (1.5L) and St Hallett’s most luxurious Shiraz to date, 2015 Planted 1919.

For generations, St Hallett has crafted wines that demonstrate the beauty and variability of the Barossa and the 2020 Release does not falter from this. Hand selecting fruit from the very best sites in the Barossa Valley and Eden Valley, the St Hallett winemaking team have used the diverse tapestry and unparalleled terroir to produce some of the finest Barossa wines.

St Hallett Senior Winemaker, Helen McCarthy explains, “The St Hallett winemaking philosophy is relatively simple: minimal intervention and maximum attention. We tailor fermentation and maturation to each parcel of the highest quality fruit to reveal the rich textures, depth and diversity of Barossa fruit. With every vintage our winemaking team learn more about the influence of the site on the flavour and quality of the wines. We are thrilled to be sharing some of our best wines yet in the 2020 annual vintage release.”

This year, both the highly anticipated Blackwell Shiraz and Old Block Shiraz release a new vintage; 2018 and 2016 respectively. The 2018 vintage was similar to more recent vintages with steady ripening throughout the season and overall a very dry growing season delivering densely flavoured wines. The Blackwell Shiraz is the most obviously Barrossan wine in the St Hallett portfolio and demonstrates this depth and weight.

Ideal conditions for the 2016 vintage lead to yields and quality, resulting in wines like the 2016 Old Block Shiraz which has the potential to become part of the Barossa’s elite and fabled vintages. Recognising its quality already, the recently published Halliday Wine Companion 2021 Edition scored the 2016 Old Black 97 Points Gold.

A new addition to St Hallett’s premium wines this year is the 2018 Higher Earth Syrah. Offering a bouquet of dark cherry and raspberry fruit with pepper characters, the inspiration for this Syrah was to showcase the unique flavours and tannins from Eden Valley, an area Helen McCarthy is particularly passionate about. Showing great promise already, the Perth Royal Show just recently awarded the 2018 Higher Earth Syrah with Gold.

Also joining the acclaimed portfolio, and with double the presence, is the 2018 Mighty Ox Shiraz (1.5L). Sourced from vineyards north west of the Barossa Valley at elevations between 250m and 310m above sea level, the Mighty Ox is a lush, full-bodied wine with prominent oak characters of vanilla and dark chocolate that makes a fine addition to the release line-up.

Rounding out the vintage release is Planted 1919, St Hallett’s most exquisite Shiraz to date sourced from ancient Barossa vines over 100 years old.

Helen observed,“St Hallett has long understood the importance of nurturing old vines and crafting wines that pay homage to the Barossa Survivor (70+ years) and Centenarian (100+years) vines that have stood the test of time, and Planted 1919 is a perfect example of this. Limited to just 360 bottles Australia wide and 1,200 globally, this will be St Hallett’s most luxurious Shiraz ever released. Synonymous with Eden Valley fruit parcels, Planted 1919 exhibits fine flavours of dark fruits and dried herbs and gives way to a flinty and wet stone texture supported by a fine, pure fruit line.”

The St Hallett annual vintage release wines, including the 2016 Old Black Shiraz (RRP$159.00), 2018 Blackwell Shiraz (RRP$54.99), 2018 Mighty Ox Shiraz (RRP $210.00) and 2018 Higher Earth Syrah (RRP $60.00) will be available from November 12 in major retailers and select independent stores nationally. Planted 1919 (RRP $450.00) will be available from the St Hallett cellar door and limited to fine wine retailers.

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