First up, let me tell you, I am not a fan of roses. I’m sorry, but I can not bring myself to like them. A few years ago when my wife and I purchased our home, there were heaps of rose bushes around the place. Due to some excavation work, some of them disappeared among the rubble that was carted away. When it came to the others, I thought if I ‘prune’ them level with the ground they will die. How wrong was I?! They grew back and seemed to be better than before I cut them back.
I was reminded of this when I read the notes that came with this wine. The viticulturist at Hastwell & Lightfoot cut some of the vines back to the trunk letting them regrow. I’m sure this practice goes on quite a bit but I’ve not heard of it before. Anyway, from what I’ve read, it has worked a treat for the vines, the fruit and the resultant wine. It seems to me that everyone’s a winner from this process.
For your information, 70% of the fruit which has gone into this wine came from vines that were cut back.
The colour was certainly promising, nose too, with mainly red fruits, a bit plummy and spicy. The palate was a little subdued, but with a bit of coercion, it eventually presented much better. Dark-ish fruits stood out for me, with nice peppery characters and good fruit weight that would keep punters going back for more. It has length too even if it does finish a bit dry. Osso Bucco and this shiraz would make perfect midweek meal partners.
Hastwell and Lightfoot Website
Region: McLaren Vale, SA Price: $25 (good buying) Source: Sample thanks to Hastwell & Lightfoot and Define Wine
At Dromana Estate, where we run a wine course for enthusiasts, we will, occasionally cut a vine back to its trunk. We do this when the head of the trunk has grown above the fruiting wire or if there are no suitable canes for the next year. Perhaps only 1 in every 50. It looks harsh and you loose a years crop but for the long term it is for the best.
Thanks Darius. Appreciate you letting me know about the wine course and cutting back the vines. I checked out the Dromana Estate website and the courses sound excellent. Shame I live in Hobart. Also, I checked out the wines but I can’t see where to order online (although there’s a good chance I missed it, sorry). May I ask, is it possible to get an order form emailed to me please? Regards, Tony
Hi Tony. Peter and I are hoping to do a briefer version of the course around Hobart/Coal Valley. There are a couple of ex-students how are now based in that region of Tasmania. We thought we may run a session on pruning and winemaking but perhaps not till next year. Re buying wines from Dromana, I notice there seems to be no online store on the website? I will discuss with them. Re student wines, they usually receive about 2 dozen to take home, they are not for sale. I will see what I can do.
Cool. Thank you for your help.
Do you get to Hobart very often?