A triple treat for Heathcote Shiraz lovers from the 2003 vintage.- Newcastle Herald John Lewis
"John Ellis has a triple treat for Heathcote Shiraz lovers from the 2003 vintage.
It was a drought year, but John has produced three reds that are powerful, vibrant, food-friendly and showing no signs of overcooked fruit.
The wines are the flagship $60 Hanging Rock 2003 Heathcote Shiraz, the Hanging Rock 2003 Cambrian Rise Heathcote Shiraz ($27) and the single-vineyard, $33 Hanging Rock 2003 Rowbottoms Heathcote Shiraz.
The 2003 Cambrian Rise is excellent value and has penetrating plum flavour overlaid with Turkish delight chocolate and molasses fruit characters and spicy oak. The 2003 Heathcote Shiraz is 15 per cent alcohol and inky purple. It has scents of briar and pencil shavings, and rich, plum flavour rolls onto the front of the palate. Black pepper, pastille and mocha fruit characters meld with nutty American oak on the middle palate.
It would be perfect now with lamb tagine and couscous or braised venison shanks and will cellar for a decade.
I regard John Ellis as the godfather of Heathcote Shiraz.
He introduced me to its delights in 1989 when I tasted the Hanging Rock 1987 Heathcote Shiraz, the first of a series made from grapes grown on a leased vineyard on the slopes of Mount Camel, north of Heathcote Township. The vineyard produced Hanging Rock Shiraz wines that won 32 show gold medals between 1987 and 1992, but it was crippled by salination.
Today the Hanging Rock Heathcote Shiraz reds are made from grapes from the Athol’s Paddock vineyard and bought fruit.
Athol’s Paddock is 20 kilometres north of the original source vineyard and was established as a joint venture between John Ellis and Athol Guy, part of the famous Seekers group. Hanging Rock wines can be found in a few wine stores or mail ordered by telephoning (03) 5427 0542 or logging on to http://www.hangingrock.com.au/ "