Country: Australia Region: South Australia
Category: White Wine Vintage: 2017
Producer: Shaw + Smith
"Shaw + Smith began over a long lunch in 1989 when cousins Martin Shaw and Michael Hill Smith decided to realise a long held dream to make wine together. Their vision remains to make exciting, refined wines exclusively from the Adelaide Hills that rank among Australia's best. The wines are made from a number of sites throughout the
Adelaide Hills. They specialise in grape varieties suited to the cooler climate, namely Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Shiraz.
The Sauvignon Blanc is sourced predominantly from their own vineyards at Woodside and Balhannah, where the soils are shallow, red/brown loam over schist and clay. The
original M3 vineyard was sold, and subsequently the grapes for this wine is now a selection of the estate's best fruit, a great deal of which now comes from Lenswood, a high altitude vineyard they purchased in 2012. This is one of the reasons why M3 has taken such a leap forward in quality in recent years. For the Shiraz, the warmer sub-area of Macclesfield gives structure and richness, while the cooler Balhannah vineyard contributes spiciness and perfume.
The single vineyard 'Balhannah' Shiraz is from a close planted north-facing block behind the winery. They included plenty of whole bunches in the ferment and aged it in 500 litre French oak puncheons. The result is a fragrant, intense and lively cool climate Shiraz. This is now joined by a single vineyard Chardonnay from their Lenswood vineyard. Planted in 1999, this 20 hectare vineyard is situated at about 500 metres above sea level. The cooler nights at such an altitude (this is the highest of all Shaw + Smith's vineyards) gives the wines from this site a characteristic steeliness. The age and steeliness combine in this stunning single vineyard wine.
The Lenswood vineyard has also provided a boost to the Pinot Noir. The more perfumed fruit, blended with grapes from the winery block, give a wine from 2013 that is a huge step up on anything they have produced before. No wonder it won a Gold medal at the 2015 International Wine Challenge.
The winemaking dream-team consists of Martin Shaw and senior winemaker Adam Wadewitz, one of Australia's brightest winemaking talents. They work closely with viticulturalist Murray Leake, who succeeded Ray Guerin when he retired in 2015. Ray continues to consult. Their wines show wonderful varietal definition, particularly in the depth and spectrum of flavour, natural acid balance and overall finesse. There is an excitement about each of the Shaw + Smith wines that has made them one of the most successful producers in our portfolio."
Winemaker: Martin Shaw
Fruit was sourced principally from the Shaw & Smith vineyard at Lenswood. Low yields were achieved by aggressive pruning and pre-harvest bunch thinning. All fruit was hand-picked to avoid fruit damage.
Whole bunches were chilled overnight prior to pressing. The juice was then barrel fermented in new, one and two-year-old French oak barriques. Wild yeast fermentation and partial malolactic fermentation were used to add complexity and mouth-feel to the wine. After fermentation, the wine spent nine months in barrique, with some lees stirring to build complexity. Special care is taken not to over oak the wine, in order to maintain fruit purity.
A beautifully complex nose showing lemon, apple and white peach along with biscuit notes. The palate displays trademark M3 elegance and restraint with an extra dimension of creaminess through the finish. A wine of depth and concentration that balances generous fruit flavours with savoury characters and crisp acidity.
Food Suggestion: Grilled white fish, such as Whiting, with a caper butter sauce.
Closure: Stelvin ABV:12.5% Acidity [g/l]: 7.2