Shiraz Heathcote Victoria
One of Heathcote's longest established winemakers, Paul Osicka planted his vines in the 1950s, when Heathcote as a winegrowing region was but a twinkle in the eye. Old fashioned practices are employed in the vineyard. Vines are hand pruned and fruit is selectively hand picked. A high profile local identity and a bit of a cult figure, Osicka specializes in raising parcels of intensely flavoured grapes which translate into vigorous Shiraz wines. Osicka's small batch production is highly anticipated each year by Shiraz enthusiasts in the know.
The Osicka vineyard experiences a later budburst than most sites around Heathcote, by virtue of a slightly cooler climate, which translates into grapes with heightened levels of flavour. The vineyard is unirrigated and deliberately cropped to low yields, the berries are always small, retaining intense colours and flavours. It is common to find all manner of native animals amongst the vines, which are laboriously hand pruned and picked. Winemaking is a hands on affair for Heathcote maestro Paul Osicka, who personally handles each stage of the process. Extensive use is made of new oak barrels in the maturation, an expensive although important part of Osicka's uncompromising pursuit of quality.
Deep plum colour. Nose of cherry, ferrous earth and red fruit, bitter chocolate notes and smoked meats, currants and plum. The palate is seductive, a tight integration of complex fruit flavours, currants, rhubarb and cherry with the savouryness of turkish caradmon coffee and five spice over a fine construct of smokey, cocoa oak and firm supportive tannins. A chewy textured, intensely flavoursome Shiraz.