The 2018 Spinifex Bête Noir Shiraz is a blend of 70% old-vine Barossa Shiraz and 30% Eden Valley Shiraz sourced from vines located across a variety of Barossa's sub-regions, with the eastern foothills, Moppa, Moculta, and the Eden Valley all contributing. Vineyard age ranges between 25 and 120 years, with "60 years being a fair average across the blend," according to Schell.
All fruit is hand-harvested. The proportion of whole clusters varied from "everything to nothing" depending on the vineyard, with roughly 35% in the final blended cuvée. Vinified with indigenous yeast fermentation, élevage on lees in new (25%) and seasoned French oak barrels ranging in capacity from 225-litre to 2,500-litre for 20 months prior to bottling without filtration.
Spinifex is the project of New Zealand-born Peter Schell, a Roseworthy graduate who had spent several vintages working in the south of France prior to establishing Spinifex. Spinifex's focus is on producing regional wines from Mediterranean varieties - predominately reds, mainly Mataro, Grenache, Shiraz and Cinsault.
They aim to make wines that display signatures of vineyard provenance and vintage, show regional typicity, and have a consistent thread of 'house style' that reflect their preferences and experiences with wine.
Winemaking is simple and relatively non-interventional in approach. They are big believers in the primacy of the vineyard. Good sites with restricted yields and old vines picked at optimal maturity almost always deliver intense, textured wines of character. Current standouts in the range include their Indigene, Esprit, Bete Noir, La Maline, and Papillon, while great value is to be found under their Miette Range.
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