2013 Shaw + Smith Balhannah Vineyard Shiraz
This is the first release of this wine. The distinctive site has always shown potential for a single site wine, and in this particular year the fruit was outstanding.
A complex, finely-textured Shiraz expressing the conditions of each vintage and the character of a unique vineyard site.
Halliday Wine Companion - February 2016
70% whole bunch and matured in 500l French puncheons. Inaugural release from a vineyard planted to 550 vines per hectare. It's an exotic wine, developing slowly. Truffles, cloves, olives and saltbush on a bed of dark cherry-plum fruit. Tannin: ultra fine. Length: to burn. It's complex already but new worlds of aroma/flavour will open up given time.
Score: 96 points
Richard Hemming - JancisRobinson.com - 18 February 2016
Stinky, reductive nose but the red fruit is juicy and pure on the palate. Precise and punchy. No discernible stemminess. Deserves time.
Tony Love - The Advertiser - December 2015
The Shaw + Smith team is clearly on top of its Shiraz game, its wider regional 2014 just winning best overall wine in the Hills show. This is another story: more defined from a special single block, here embellished with gently handled whole-bunch, whole-berry fruit treatment to reveal extraordinary fragrance, from bush florals to white mushrooms, then great crushed berry flavours, the barest of oak spice notes and simply wonderful purity. Awesome.
Campbell Mattinson - WineFront - 30 September 2015
First release of a Balhannah single vineyard shiraz for Shaw + Smith. It’s from a low-yielding vineyard planted to 5500 vines per hectare. It was mostly whole bunch fermented and then aged in 500 litre French puncheons. It’s had 14 months in bottle prior to release. Only 292 dozen were made.
It doesn’t blow you away but then it’s not meant to. It’s smoky and reductive with clove and olive notes laced to a hub of dark, brooding black cherry. It’s flecked with twiggy dried herb and spice, perhaps the odd saltbush notes passing casually by. It’s a concentrated wine without being an overblown one; its class in many ways rests in the way it parades savouriness seamlessly though the mouth, and churns ultra-fine tannin from a long way back in the palate. Quality? No real question about it.
Score: 95 points