In support of Victorian wineries and cellar doors during Covid – 19 restrictions, we are pleased to be involved with the wonderful #cellardoorchallenge initiative.
As we are unable to conduct tours at the moment, we need to provide our own entertainment. To that end, I have been having a bit of fun with opening 1 or 2 ‘back vintage’ wines each week. The idea is to enjoy these delicious wines with a great home cooked meal. As the #cellardoorchallenge is Instagram friendly, we try to get a decent photo of food & wine to post.
I love taking PDT customers to visit Knight’s Granite Hills in the Macedon Ranges. The winery and vineyard are located at an altitude of 550 meters above sea level on the Great Dividing Range.
The cool continental climate and high altitude help to make the Macedon Ranges the coolest wine growing region in Australia (including Tasmania)!
Granite Hills was established in 1970 by Gordon Knight, primarily to run sheep. Wine grapes were eventually planted, and the wines were found to be of exceptional quality. Gordon’s son – Llew – has been the long time wine maker and owner of this magnificent vineyard and winery.
Although offering a fabulous range of wines, Granite Hills is best known for Riesling and Shiraz. As the continental climate and high altitude can deliver very cold nights, the cool climate Shiraz often displays ‘peppery’ notes.
With regard to cool climate Shiraz, the pepper aromatics are more prevalent in the cooler vintages. The 2013 Shiraz was from a warmer vintage – so not as much pepper was evident. There is however a lovely medium bodied texture – matched with dark fruits and soft tannins. The cool climate acidity and tannins helps to dissolve fattiness or oiliness from the food.
Being from a warmer vintage, there are inciting aromas of dark plums – with a subtle backdrop of Christmas cake. The complex aromas are due to the interaction of French and American oak, delicious ripe Shiraz grapes from mature vines – and time in bottle. There is a passing glance at cinnamon and nutmeg with pepper relegated to the back row this season.
Note – Being 14.5% alcohol this warmer year – it helps to add the ‘sweet’ aromatics.
The colour is still deep, impenetrable and dark red with a touch of purple.
The palate is medium to full bodied, with an impressive length and clean finish. This is due in no small part to the natural acidity from this high altitude cool climate vineyard.
The 40 year old vines now penetrate deep into the granite soils. Subsequently there is a depth of flavour from the minerals dissolved in the earth below.
Selling for approximately $35 per bottle AU, Knights Granite Hills Shiraz offers good value, and is one of the original cool climate Shiraz.
As the wines are matured in oak and bottle before it is released – the current vintage at time of writing was 2014.