Grapes for the Reserve Shiraz have been sourced from the same vineyard (the 1.6 hectare ‘20 Rows’ block in Langhorne Creek owned by the Borrett family) since the first Reserve Shiraz in 1997. Earlier bottlings of this wine; 1993, 1992, 1991, 1990, 1989 and 1987 (when Drew’s father David was the winemaker) were labelled simply as Noon’s Traditional Red.
The Noon Reserve Shiraz is a full bodied, generously flavoured wine. If you usually prefer white wines or more elegant, light-medium bodied reds then this may not be the wine for you. It may be drunk young but will certainly reward cellaring.
Earlier back labels generally suggested a 10 year drinking window, however recent tastings of 1998 and 1999 Reserve Shiraz demonstrate many years of good drinking still ahead. For further information on cellaring or individual vintages and how they are drinking please click on the <tasting notes> bar.
Note that there was no 2008 or 2011 Reserve Shiraz produced.
Food matching suggestions
Choose strongly flavoured dishes such as lamb shanks or Osso Bucco to accompany young vintages. As the Noon Reserve Shiraz matures, tannins mellow and complexity builds and it becomes a good partner for a simple but high quality beef T-Bone or aged rump steak.
It is a good idea to decant this wine at least 30 minutes prior to serving (the younger the wine the longer the time). Aeration will help release the wines aromas and flavours and any sediment formed during maturation can be left behind.
100% Shiraz from the ‘20 Rows’ block in Langhorne Creek, South Australia.
Noon Reserve Shiraz is matured in small (300 litre) French and American oak barrels for 18 months. We use approximately 30-40% new oak for this wine, with the aim of adding complexity and structure without dominating the fruit flavour.
Each year we work closely with the Borrett family to choose the ideal harvest time. Fermentation takes place in our small open vats which are hand plunged to help extract the naturally abundant colour and tannins present in the grapes.
After fermentation is complete (typically 10 to 20 days) pressing is done by hand in small manual basket presses and care is taken not to extract too much bitterness or astringency by rough handling and over-pressing.
The wine is crushed, fermented, matured and bottled on our property.
750 – 850 dozen. Older vineyards reflect the seasons more clearly and production can vary significantly, especially in years affected by drought.
The 20 Rows Shiraz block was planted in 1962 on the Langhorne Creek flood plain, which is managed to receive late winter and early spring flood water from the Bremer River assisted by a series of channels and weirs. This is a special and unique terroir which has been producing wine this way since the mid 1800’s. The vineyard area of Langhorne Creek today has expanded well outside the original flood plain and the growing conditions in the new vineyards are quite different. One could make a good argument for the appellation Langhorne Creek to be used exclusively for the historic flood plain land. The ‘20 Rows’ vines are quite low yielding for the area at around 3-4 tons/acre. They are growing on their own roots as the region is free of phylloxera. The soil in this vineyard is a deep alluvial clay loam with an almost shimmering quality about it which produces small, black-coloured and perfectly formed Shiraz berries, packed with flavour.
This was an excellent harvest, combining quality (always the most important thing) with quantity once again, as in 2005. However the way it came about and the style of the 2006 wines is quite different to 2005.
What makes 2006 special is the refined nature of the wines. The explanation for this lies in the unique combination of weather events during the growing season. At last we had a season which was not drought affected – a great relief for the vines. It began with the welcome rains of June 2005 refilling soil water levels over winter.
The rains continued deep into spring, with October the wettest for 30 years and well above average rainfall in November. This resulted in a very successful flowering and set, providing for the well filled bunches of 2006. It also maintained low levels of water stress in the vines going into and through our usual warm summer months, keeping the canopies healthy and leading to the development of the larger berries we had this year.
Whilst January was even a little hotter than normal, the period following veraison (colouring of the grapes) in February was quite cool and this is a critical time in determining the style of the wines produced. The cooler conditions which prevailed in February encouraged the retention of natural grape acidity and combined with the low water stress levels allowed the development and retention of flavour and aroma compounds in the fruit.
This resulted in grapes of excellent flavour and ready for harvest at lower sugar levels than in 2005. So when the very warm March weather saw grape sugar levels climb rapidly, with flavour to match, the harvest began rapidly and proceeded apace, as continuing fine, warm conditions led to ripe grapes everywhere and lots of them!
We purchased some more fermenters so we could keep picking and wound up completing harvesting on March 30, only 20 days after we started! This was in stark contrast to 2005 when our main harvest month was April! The combination of a large crop and compacted picking period resulted in a very tired group of family and friends at the end of vintage.
Was it all worth it? You will be the judge of that but we can tell you that the wines are distinctly different to 2005, with more expressive, complex, nuanced, delicate aromas and flavours. These are wines which justify big fine glassware and the time to just smell them before drinking them. We cannot remember more aromatically expressive wines than these (perhaps 2002 and 1998 came close).
In the mouth they display wonderful elegance along with a seamless quality by which I mean all of the components are integrated and harmonious. There is no harshness to the wines. Although they possess a greater degree of finesse, they are not lacking depth or length of flavour. They just display these in a more refined style.
The inherent natural balance of this vintage means the wines will be easy to enjoy whilst young but should also cellar very well. They will make an interesting contrast to the bigger, more robust but less stylish 2005s over the years ahead.