H-Block Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon
On the banks of the Greenock Creek, Otto Kasper planted a single block with two Cabernet parcels and a Shiraz parcel sitting side by side. This creates the perfect opportunity to make a single block of the great Australian blend, Shiraz Cabernet. Effectively, a blend of the best - our Clos Otto Shiraz and von Kasper Cabernet.
H-Block Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon Tasting Notes
The H-Block is positioned in our Otto vineyards adjacent to the Greenock Creek (250m ASL). The vines are grown in fertile, deep red clay loam soils with bluestone at depth. The composition and depth of the soil allow this block to show a true representation of fruit-to-bottle as it requires minimal water input and has great airflow due to gully breezes that cascade to the creek, reducing disease risk. Being grown on an east-west VSP (Vertical Shoot Positioning) trellis system allows the fruit to not be exposed to any prolonged sunlight in the fruit zone resulting in fruit that is truly varietal with acidity and flavour intensity.
The 2016 calendar year leading up to the 2017 vintage produced the wettest winter for 20 years! This rainfall and associated cooler weather conditions resulted in a delightful slow development across the growing season with flowering and subsequent fruit set 2-3 weeks later than recent vintages. Warm and consistent conditions followed with vines balanced and happy heading towards Christmas. A return to cool weather and rainfall continued the trend of slow development with veraison kicking off 4 weeks later than expected. After one last summer drop of 50mm in early February we got the weather we were looking for with dry conditions and good ripening throughout harvest. The vintage conditions have created outstanding flavour development and natural acidity with the resulting wines showing great poise and balance.
The fruit was de-stemmed prior to fermentation, during which 2-3 pump overs per day were used to ensure the wine achieved a full tannin structure. It was then pressed out to a combination of new (60%) and seasoned (40%) French barrels where it underwent natural malolactic fermentation. The wine was then racked off lees and returned to oak to mature. The wines were kept separate for the first 6 months of maturation before being blended and returned to oak, with a total of 22 months in oak. Winemaker, Andrew Quin
Blackberry and blueberry combine with mint and vanillin to provide a rich and expressive nose. Dense fruit fills the palate with mint adding an element of freshness to an otherwise intensely fruit-weighted palate. Grippy tannins and bright acidity are focused through the middle with vanillin and earthy flavours lingering on the finish.