Fighting Gully Road Syrah 2019


Mark Walpole has graduated from being arguably one of Australia's greatest viticulturalists to become one of its greatest vignerons. His interest in cool climate viticulture led him from his home in the Ovens Valley to the elevated Beechworth plateau at the top of the Escarpment above the Murmungee basin.

The site was planted to Cabernet Sauvignon and a small amount of Merlot in 1997 on the lower North West facing slopes, followed by Pinot Noir in 1998 on the upper North East facing slopes at an elevation of 570 meters. In more recent years after working with fruit from this block small areas have been grafted to Shiraz, Tempranillo, Sangiovese, Chardonnay and Petit Menseng.

Sourced from small parcel of the Fighting Gully Road Shiraz block, we decided given ideal vintage conditions in the 2018 growing season to focus our attention on producing a small quantity of extremely high end wine, whilst selling off grapes of lower potential. Fermented with 2% pressed Viognier skins and using 35% of whole bunches, the result is a very refined, medium bodied, spicy and highly aromatic wine; reminiscent of fine wines produced in the northern Rhone valley. The wine spent 18 months in new and seasoned 600 litre demi-muids before bottling; and a further nine months in bottle prior to release. Limited production – 2,150 bottles.

96pts | Campbell Mattinson | Wine Companion

No insecticides are used and fungicide selection is careful made to protect predatory mites and other beneficial insects. Soil structure is maintained through minimal application of herbicide; soil cultivation is not practiced. The inter-row is sown to a permanent sward of grasses and legumes, which are seasonally slashed and thrown onto the ground immediately under the vine, to preserve moisture and increase organic matter. Vine prunings are mulched back into the ground to degrade naturally. 

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