Established in 1989 by Martin Shaw and Michael Hill Smith MW, Shaw + Smith's aim is to make contemporary, high quality wines that stand among the best of their type in Australia. The wines are made exclusively from fruit grown in the Adelaide Hills, one of Australia's coolest and most exciting regions. Shaw + Smith specialise in grape varieties suited to cooler climates, such as Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, and also make outstanding wines from Shiraz and Pinot Noir.
The fruit was sourced from vineyards in the warmer, drier parts of the Adelaide Hills, notably Macclesfield and from low yielding vineyards in Balhannah, near the Shaw and Smith winery. Soils here are shallow red/brown loam over schist and clay. The vines are planted at a density of 2,700 - 5,500 vines per hectare and are hand pruned with vertical shoot positioned canopies. Low yields of two kilos per vine were achieved by aggressive pruning and pre-harvest bunch thinning.
September's start to the growing season was warmer than average, leading to good canopy and fruit development. January rainfall provided relief from earlier high temperatures and was timely to aid fruit development through the ripening period, resulting in healthy fruit being harvested two weeks earlier than average.
The grapes were hand picked and fermented as a combination of whole berries and whole bunches in open fermenters, with gentle plunging and minimal working. The wine was aged in French oak for 14 months, of which one third was new.
Fresh and vibrant on the nose, with red fruit aromas and some dried herb notes. The palate shows bright cherry, raspberry, and mulberry, a hint of dark chocolate and plenty of structure, with grippy tannins that build through to the finish.