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Richard Hamilton Wines are reflective of the distinctive McLaren Vale region with its Mediterranean climate producing great value, fruit driven wines. The Hamilton family have been involved in winemaking and grape growing for five generations. Dr Richard Hamilton now continues his family’s long tradition of involvement in the wine industry.
Planted in 1892, the vineyard is among the oldest in the region, indeed in Australia. Situated at the back of the Old Hut Block, the gnarly Shiraz vines are grown in grey loams over old river clay with underlying limestone. The combination of site and old vines produces a lovely elegant yet powerful style of wine. The vineyard is hand pruned and harvested. The climate is moderate and tempered by the cool sea breezes from the Gulf of St. Vincent some 8 kilometres away
2018 was an outstanding year in McLaren Vale. Above average rainfall in July and August set up the vines for a good growing season. October and November were relatively dry but relieved by good rains in December. Temperatures in most months from October to the end of harvest were slightly warmer than average with both maximum and minimum.
Veraison was a little late, but proceeded rapidly after some hot January days. Ripening conditions during February and March were ideal with dry conditions and an absence of extreme temperatures provided rich fruit flavours and mature tannins.
Each year we strive to gain even a little more perfection to making this wine. While the essential element in the making of Centurion is the critical quality selection of the fruit from the 1892 plantings, we augment the style using several techniques. All ferments are small scale – we purchased a third vat in 2017 to allow most of the components to be fermented in oak. Some even smaller ferments are hand plunged with some whole bunches to build structure and aromatics.
Ultimately, maturation was in a combination of hogsheads and vats with several workings and swapping of vessels to promote longevity of the wine and enhance the palate length. On final blending in May 2018, the wine was made ready for bottling in June. 100% French oak – Initially 50% New and 50% large Vats for 8 months, then 6 months in 1-5 yo hogsheads to finish off.
Deep, dark red with bright scarlet hues. Beautifully integrated with the finest French oak, this elegant yet rich Shiraz has perfumed fruit showing plum and cherry nuances with hints of cloves and nutmeg. Ripe, long, fine, silky tannins provide a wonderfully elegant structure to this Shiraz. Its persistence of flavour finishes clean and tight.
Wine of this quality and style will match a wide range of flavours. Try it with carpaccio of beef or an eye filet cooked rare and juicy.
This wine is designed to mature and develop to give many years of drinking pleasure. 10 years at least.
Don’t just take our word for it…
93 Points – 2021 James Halliday Wine Companion