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“From the moment we laid eyes on the land, we knew we had discovered something special..”
That something special was rich undulating fields in the shadows of Mt Ida, Heathcote, Central Victoria. Tony and Linda Hunter’s vision was to create a family-run boutique vineyard where quality, passion and energy were reflected in the wine.
Embraced by children Mark and Jodi and their respective partners Melissa and Brett, Sanguine Estate expanded from 16 acres to 55 in just five years.
The family’s desire to produce great wine flows through every glass. Through natural winemaking techniques combined with small batch processing and hand plunging, the purity and integrity of the wine is enhanced.
Sanguine utilised the vertical shoot positioning trellis system to open up the canopy, reduce the risk of disease and expose bunches to direct sun light for ripening. The vines are cane pruned to a single fruiting wire with a maximum 20 buds per vine. Crop levels are naturally low and hence bunch thinning is generally not required and irrigation kept to a minimum with some blocks unirrigated.
To conserve the natural balance within the soils and hence the overall health of the vines, they aim to minimise the use of chemicals. It is basic practice at Sanguine to utilise organic principles in the first instance such as organic fertilisers and mulching to control weed growth and then if absolutely necessary, use small amounts of chemicals to target specific parts of the vineyard.
A relatively dry winter was followed by some useful spring rain. The vines grew well early in part thanks to a healthy end of 2018 vintage providing lots of stored energy. January and February were relentlessly hot and dry, bringing on harvest early and fast paced. An early start to harvest always makes me nervous as the sugars are accumulating faster than the preferred flavour profile, sometimes resulting in high alcohol with green characters. We got started earlier than normal but thankfully all the flavour was there resulting in a very special vintage with deeply concentrated wines.
Traditional winemaking practices such as small fermentation tanks, natural fermentation (i.e. no yeast additions) and gravity feeding. Whilst this can be quite labour intensive, we believe it ensures the preservation of natural fruit flavours and the Heathcote terroir character. As with all varieties produced at Sanguine Estate, the grapes were destemmed, lightly crushed and then naturally fermented with wild indigenous yeasts in small open fermenters.
The wine is then transferred via gravity (to avoid pump shock) to predominantly French oak barriques (approximately 15% new) and left to mature for approximately 12 months.
Interestingly not as deep in colour as the previous vintage but, WOW what an amazing aromatic profile. Rich black fruits in droves with hints of bright berries and in the background an uncharacteristic complex aroma of smoky French oak lifting this Progeny shiraz to a new and surprising level. An incredibly dense rich, ripe, and juicy blackberry and plum fruit. Amazingly lush and softly textured, also a surprise for such a young wine.
Steak and creamy peppercorn sauce.
Release notes current. Has great drinkability now but has 10+ years ahead.