(Not for sale)

2012 Chris Ringland 21st Anniversary Shiraz

2012 was a mild vintage and, despite hanging the fruit until harvest on Friday, April 13, the wine is not over-ripe. The tannins had resolved beautifully, to balance a slightly more overt natural acidity. For me, this vintage is reminiscent of 1999 and 2003. I think that it needs at least 5 years of bottle maturation for these components to meld into maturation complexity.

More Information

In early June of 1994 it came to my attention that a small vineyard in the Barossa ranges, on Flaxman’s Valley road, was for sale. There had been no expressions of interest. Despite the success of small, new wineries, like Rockford, the Australian wine industry was caught somewhat in the doldrums during the early 90’s. Grape prices were low and many growers struggled to make a viable living from their vineyards.

I placed an offer and, to my astonishment, was the owner of the property at 6:30 that evening. To cope with the shock of unexpected vineyard ownership, I immediately set about pruning and rejuvenating the vines, which, I subsequently learnt, had been planted by Thomas Randall, some time around 1910.

I produced the first vintage of “three rivers” from the Stone Chimney Creek block in 1995. They say that the secret of a successful small business starts with turning up every day. It’s somewhat of a shock to find myself with 25 vintages in the cellar!

Comments on the 2012 vintage

Despite an extraordinarily wet and cool 2011 growing season and vintage, the 2012 growing season saw a dramatic return to dry conditions.
Soil moisture reserves held the vines in good stead, as the relatively mild Summer unfolded.
The legacy of the wet, early Summer conditions of 2010 resulted in lower than normal yields in 2012. The outcome was as good as anyone could have wished. The vintage was slightly early, perhaps due to the overall lower yields and good vine canopy health.

Tasting note

Appearance: Deep red, scarlet rim.

Aroma: Bright, lifted perfume of pepper spice gives way to sumptuous red berries ( black cherries, plums ). Hints of molasses and liquorice.

Palate: Vibrant, juicy red fruits are framed by gentle tannins. The Stone Chimney Creek Shiraz vineyard personality shows through clearly.

Technical

Region of fruit Source – Barossa
Sub-region – Barossa Ranges (Eden Valley)
Specific Vineyard by Name – Stone Chimney Creek
Soil – Sandy loam over podzolic clay
Trellis System – Single wire at 1 metre
Viticulture – Minimal sprays of sulphur and seaweed nutrient. Dry grown.
Varietal Blend – 100% Shiraz
Winemaker – Chris Ringland
Alc/vol – 14.5% alc
Age of Vines – 20% planted 1999 & 80% Planted 1910
Yield – 0.8 tonnes per acre
Harvest  – Friday April 13th
Wood treatment – 100% New French hogsheads for 37 months
Bottled – May 13th, 2015
Total Production – 2800 bottles

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