When the 2013 Moppity Vineyard Shiraz (rrp $70) won the Great Australian Wine Challenge last year, it marked the first time in the prestigious show’s 21 year history that a shiraz from NSW had received the top gong.
With the exception of the Brokenwood Graveyard Vineyard Hunter Valley Shiraz, which has the highest ranking of “Exceptional” in Langton’s Classification of Australian Wine VI, people tend to gravitate towards South Australia and Victoria for top examples of Australian shiraz. Indeed, of the show’s 390 entries, a whopping 268 wines came from South Australia, 66 from Victoria and only 29 from NSW.
While Moppity’s win is causing people to re-evaluate NSW’s potential for making great Australian shiraz, Moppity Vineyard’s proprietor Jason Brown said he always had faith that the Hilltops region offered the right conditions for making superb examples of cool-climate style shiraz.
As Brown explained at a recent Masterclass at Different Drop, he and his wife Alecia decided in 2004 to buy a rundown 170 acre vineyard in the sleepy Hilltops viticulture region instead of a well-established vineyard in the world-renowned Clare Valley.
They settled on Hilltops because they were confident that the strong diurnal variations in temperature – hot days followed by cool nights over an extending growing season – offered the right conditions for creating high perfumed shiraz fruit with rich, plush flavours yet elegant tannin profiles.
Certainly, the runaway success of the wines over the past 10 years is the best vindication they could have hoped for that they made the right decision!
We were fortunate to try three vintages of the Moppity Reserve Shiraz – the 2013, 2010 and 2008. They were interesting examples to consider because they highlighted how vintage variation can subtly or not so subtly alter the character of the wine.… Read the rest