In an ironical twist, the opportunity to buy fruit from this vineyard represents a full turn of the wheel as I established Shining Rock Vineyard at Nairne in the Adelaide Hills in 2000. After the takeover of Petaluma, the new management decided to sell Shining Rock to the Arney family in 2012.
I selected the Shining Rock site in 1999 to grow Adelaide Hills Shiraz, because it so resembles the Cote Rotie and Tain l’ Hermitage (Valence), the home of Shiraz on the northern Rhone in France.
The average heat summation for Valence is 1484o C days and for Mount Barker/Nairne is 1499°C days.
The geology and soils of Shining Rock and Tain l’Hermitage are very similar being free draining sandy loams formed from a highly micaceous schist formation. I planted different proven selections of Shiraz from Clare and the Barossa Valley in the Shining Rock Vineyard.
One of the best Shiraz selections is from the Provis Vineyard opposite Hanlin Hill on the eastern range of the Clare Valley. We buy the Provis selection of Shiraz from Shining Rock Vineyard.
2016 was one of the warmest vintages since 1960 accumulating 1988°C days. It was also very dry receiving only 57% of normal rainfall for the growing season.
2016 Tapanappa Shining Rock Shiraz was hand harvested in late March and delivered to the Tapanappa Winery in the Piccadilly Valley.
Shining Rock Shiraz was destemmed, lightly crushed and chilled to the 0.9 tonne fermenters. A cold soak for 3 days was followed by a 12 day fermentation reaching peak temperatures of 35°C. The cap of skins was hand plunged daily during fermentation. At the end of primary fermentation the fermenters were sealed down and allowed a post fermentation maceration on the skins in the finished wine.
After a total residence of 21 days, the fermentation tubs were pressed straight to a mixture of Rhone Valley barriques, 50% new.
2016 Tapanappa Shining Rock Shiraz finished malo-lactic fermentation in barriques and was left on full lees until clear racked before bottling 20 months after harvest in February 2018.
The Taste Of The Wine
Despite the very warm 2016 harvest 2016 Tapanappa Shining Rock Shiraz is the very epitome of a cool climate Shiraz. It is one of the paradoxes of terroir that the best wines are made from cool sites in the warmest years.
It is with quiet satisfaction that I was able to make this wine from the vineyard which I had established and for which I had held so much hope that it would be a “distinguished site” for Shiraz.
2016 Shining Rock Shiraz has intense carmine colour typical of Shiraz but still vaguely translucent.
The aroma is of blackberry and spiced plums, some anise with hints of fine leather.
This is a big wine in structure and flavour with determined tannins to backup the sumptuous sweet fruit middle.
2016 Tapanappa Shining Rock Shiraz is a wine for the ages, worthy of decades in the cellar.
It is the pure expression of the unique Shining Rock Vineyard terroir.