The 2003 and 2004 Shiraz are both maturing away in a mixture of American and French oak and are set to be magnificent wines. 2003 followed up on the exceptional 2002 vintage, while the 2004 vintage saw another year for fantastic colour. It was also a vintage where flavour ripeness appeared earlier than usual, allowing the fruit to be picked at slightly lower sugar levels. This meant the fruit was more in balance in terms of its sugar, acid, flavour and tannin; and better balance means a more elegant wine that tends to "make itself".

The 2002 Shiraz has been bottled, but will not be realeased just yet. A bit of bottle age is the plan for this superb little number. But be sure, when it's released it'll knock your socks off.

At Hawkers Gate we have just planted a trial block of Saperavi, which from others' accounts has the potential to make great varietal red wines in the spirit of Shiraz. It will be a few years before a wine is ready however. The future looks bright for this little-planted variety, which originally comes from Georgia (think Russia, not Atlanta). It will be very interesting to see how Saperavi grows in the McLaren Vale climate.