There’s a vineyard in Heathcote that everyone tries to get a piece of, and it’s called Greenstone. D’Sas have managed to get their piece, and the resultant wine is going from strength to strength. The last two vintages have wrangled 95 points out of Sam Kim, and you mofos lapped up 5,000 cases of each. We know you get it.
Heathcote ‘17 saw a cool spring with plenty of rain, followed by a mild summer. A pretty bloody epic vintage all over Vic, in fact. Don’t get us started. At Mofo HQ we’re all currently discussing investment plans with our respective banks, because we don’t want to miss out on the incredible wines coming out of 2017. The fruit’s just taken next level, the balance on point. This shiraz has its now-classic blackberry, plum, cocoa, roasted hazelnut and game going on, and an even more opulent palate. Tannins are bold but velvety and bode well for a decade in the cellar. But if you’re anything like us, you’re well through your ‘16s and ready to get stuck into these. We can’t say we blame you.
I dare say that winemaker Matthew Di Sciascio’s no longer the Dark Horse noted by Halliday in his 2016 Wine Companion. Now an easy odds-on favourite. Giddy up.
It’s cool, we get it, you want to know absolutely everything about this wine. Well here you go, go nuts.
- Alcohol by Vol.
- Bottle Vol
- Blend Info
- 100% Shiraz
- Serving Temp.
From the producer
Dark red black core with a bright dark red hue. Lifted aromas of freshly crushed blackberries, plum and liquorice meld with black pepper notes. Fresh flavours of ripe blackberries, blood plums dominate with subtle cedar spice and black pepper complementing the ripe inky mouthfeel. Well-structured grainy tannins support the palate and provides a long conclusion to the wine.
Put simply, the 2017 season was outstanding. A cool Spring with plenty of rain and a mild Summer made for a late start and therefore a later vintage as with many other regions across Australia. These conditions gave higher than average yields with no compromise on quality. We found full flavour ripeness at a lower baume this vintage compared to most years, which results in lower alcohol wines and great natural acidity. These natural vintage characters are something that we desire and appreciate.
There are two distinct styles of Heathcote wine, which can get confusing. There's Wild Duck Creek Duck Muck at the giant end of the spectrum for Greenock Creek lovers (I'm talking 17.5% alcohol!). And then there's Jasper Hill, Heathcote Estate, Chalmers' new Heathcote outfit and some new alternative varieties that seem to be making it into the best weird and wonderful natural wines in the country. Think Shiraz here traditionally, but don't be afraid to try the Nebbiolo, Fiano and Lagrein from painstakingly selected vineyards. They're refreshingly delicious.
The rules are there ain’t no rules, but here are some foods we think will work pretty well with this wine...
Fillet of venison with red wine and wild mushrooms
- 600ml red wine (such as shiraz)
- 1/3 cup (80ml) Madeira or dry sherry
- 1/3 cup (80ml) balsamic vinegar
- 6 eschalots, sliced
- 1 fresh bay leaf*
- 1 thyme sprig
- 2 cups (500ml) cranberry jus or good-quality beef stock**
- 10g dried chanterelle or porcini mushrooms***
- 1kg venison fillet****
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 30g unsalted butter
- 1 tbs plain flour
- Redcurrant jelly, to serve
- To make the sauce, combine the red wine, Madeira, balsamic vinegar, eschalots, bay leaf and thyme in a bowl and set aside for 2-3 hours. Place in a saucepan with jus or stock and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until reduced by three-quarters (this will take about 20 minutes). Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- Place the dried mushrooms in a small bowl, pour over a little boiling water and set aside to soak for 10 minutes.
- If the venison fillet is long, cut it in half. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Heat the oil in a large frypan over high heat and sear the venison on all sides. Transfer to a baking tray and roast for 10-12 minutes for medium-rare. Remove from oven, cover loosely with foil and set aside to rest for 10 minutes.
- Drain mushrooms, reserving the liquid. Heat the butter in a frypan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes. Add flour to the pan and cook, stirring, for a further minute. Add red-wine sauce and reserved mushroom liquid, and simmer for 5-6 minutes until well-reduced. Season to taste.
- Slice the venison and serve with sauce and redcurrant jelly, accompanied by the salad and tartiflette.
The wines we remember are about the moments. The people, the places. That’s life. Here are some ideas...