Bondar Midnight Hour Shiraz 2020
From Andre & Selina’s own Rayner Vineyard, specifically the two oldest Shiraz blocks on the property. One planted in 1950 on deep sand, the other planted in 1960 planted in red/brown clay on limestone. Both blocks are grown using organic principles, without irrigation where possible. The two parcels look different in the field and even more different in the winery, with the sandy block giving deep, fleshy and fresh fruit whilst the block on the clay soils giving a much more serious, savoury fruit profile with the addition of some grippy tannin.
The 2020 vintage was one for the history books. While the beginning of the ripening season (December) saw some unprecedented heat events, the later months of the summer were actually some of the coolest on record for our region for some time. The ripening period ended up being quite a long one in these cooler conditions, with the natural acid staying high. Yields were again tiny, around 50% down on average.
The Shiraz for Midnight Hour is harvested by hand and fermented with 100% of its stems. To do this a lot of work is required initially in the vineyard to allow good sunlight into each and every bunch so that the berries and stems ripen evenly. The wine from each batch is aged in used French oak for 15 months, then the two parcels blended to balance the juiciness of the sandy block with the serious and structural clay/limestone block. The result is a Shiraz with layers of flavour, yet a textural, black fruit laden pallet.