Grape Variety: 100% Shiraz
Growing Region: McLaren Vale, Australia
Chief Winemaker: Michael Fragos

I recently revisited this wine with Bryn Richards the senior winemaker, who works alongside Michael Fragos at Chapel Hill. The ‘Vicar’ is the pinnacle of Chapel Hill's wine expressions, where only the best parcels of fruit come together to form this full bodied McLaren Vale Shiraz with distinction. The grape parcels are meticulously chosen and harvested from selected single-vineyard sites and fermented separately in open fermenters.

 

Several times a day the grape cap underwent gentle plunging to extract varietal characters at a controlled pace, with all of the separate parcel ferments being left on their skins for a minimum of 10 days.
For the ‘Vicar' Shiraz they used a basket press, with the free run juice and pressing fractions being combined. During the following nineteen months of oak maturation - each individual barrel was racked and returned periodically to seamlessly integrate the tannins back into the wines structure. To preserve fruit purity and the wines rich, complex character, the wine was un-fined and also bottled unfiltered.
As you pour the wine, a very deep rich red colour fills the glass. This 2011 ‘The Vicar’ Shiraz displays on the nose charismatic layers of intense black berries, dried herbs and subtle spice. These ripe, rich characters carry through onto the palate seamlessly interwoven into the firm, but well balanced wine with a rich texture.
The wine has confidence and balance with a multitude of layers and varietal integrity, along with good palate weight. The wines firm tannins and natural acidity will ensure that this premium Shiraz will develop further complexity over a number of years. I recommend pouring this wine carefully and slowly into the decanter and have it breath for 45-60 minutes and serve at 17-18°C.

A charismatic McLaren Vale Shiraz.

CELLARING POTENTIAL:
Approachable this coming season; though it will appreciate and develop further for another 7-9 years.

SUGGESTED FOOD MATCHES:
Perfect wine pairing with slowly cooked and well seasoned red meats, wild game dishes and aged, rich cheeses, enjoy.