MOUNT OPHIR ESTATE VINEYARD

Steeped in heritage and Australian wine history, we've spent years nurturing the Mount Ophir Estate vineyard and are proud to release this inaugural shiraz.

Deep red in colour, this low-yielding, handmade wine is an ultra-premium, modern expression of Rutherglen Shiraz. Bright and intense aromas of wild blackberries, plums and dark chocolate with notes of spice and cinnamon. Elegant, rich and complex on the palate, this new generation Rutherglen Shiraz is only made in the best vintage years and strictly limited in quantity.

IT'S IN OUR NATURE

Handpicked from our small parcel of wild vines in Rutherglen, award-winning winemaker Nick Brown has carefully crafted this exceptional Shiraz using minimal intervention winemaking.

This wine is elegant, medium-bodied and available only on limited release.


2019 MOUNT OPHIR SHIRAZ

Handpicked from Mount Ophir Estate’s 0.5-hectare single-batch plot on Saturday, 2 March, 2019, by winemaker Nick Brown and sister Eliza. Hand-sorted to ensure only the best and most suitable bunches were used, the one-tonne harvest was gently destemmed and crushed into a small fermenter. The must was open fermented for 12 days, with plunging occurring between one and three times per day to imbue just the right amount of colour, tannins and flavour. Once the 600-litre free run had been transferred into barrels, the marc was placed in a 50kg basket press, and gently pressed over six hours. The wine was then allowed to mature in a mixture of one-third new and two-thirds seasoned Saint-Martin and Boutes French oak barrels for 19 months, in a temperature-controlled cellar.

Grape variety

100 per cent Shiraz, handpicked from single-vineyard, low yielding vines that were planted in the mid-1990s and grown along organic and sustainable principles.

Technical details

Harvest date: 2 March, 2019

Alcohol: 14%

pH: 3.92

Titratable acidity: 5.96 g/L

Volume: 750 mL 

CELLARING

Whilst this wine is drinking beautifully now it will be hitting its straps in 10–12 years but has a 15-year potential under ideal cellaring conditions. Expect tannins and astringency to soften over time, producing a rounder, softer palate and lighter colour. Aromas will also become earthier with increased notes of dried herbs. We recommend decanting the wine before serving. 

FOOD MATCHES

Best suited to produce high in fats or ‘umami’ flavours, including grilled meats or vegetables. While cheeses are often popular matches with wine, soft or blue mould varieties may clash with this Shiraz, whereas a sharp cheddar could work well. The ideal food pairing for this 2019 Mount Ophir Estate Shiraz would be a chargrilled, medium rare beef tenderloin, served with fondant potato, Brussels sprouts (roasted with honey and hickory smoked bacon), and a juniper berry red wine jus.

VINTAGE

A relatively cool and dry winter with lower than usual rainfall contributed to a lighter but higher quality yield in 2019. Thanks to a period of warmer weather over December and January, fruit ripening slowed, resulting in smaller berries, an increased skin-to-flesh ratio and ultimately more concentrated, richer, and more complex flavours. Despite the overall cooler temperatures, light airy and dry canopies handled the burst of late summer heat well, free from climatic pressures. In summary, weather conditions combined to produce excellent, high-quality lower-yielding fruit, which contributed to making a complex, rich and intensely flavoured wine with a beautiful, deep red colour.

VINEYARD

Mount Ophir Estate is situated in Victoria’s north-east in Rutherglen, one of Australia’s premier wine districts. Mount Ophir’s small, 0.5-hectare plot of Shiraz is planted in red, fine clay loam over quartz, making for excellent water retention and contributing to the richness and concentration of fruit. Positioned on the easterly aspect of a hill with striking 360-degree views at 190 metres above sea level, vine rows run east-west, allowing a slower, more gentle ripening with morning sun and high canopy protection from the harsher, western afternoon sun. The traditionally warm climate is excellent for grape growing, with an average annual rainfall of approximately 550ml. Although not officially certified, the established vines at Mount Ophir are grown along organic and sustainable principles. 

HISTORY

Mount Ophir Estate is steeped in wine history, beginning in 1891 when friends Adam Eisemann and Morty Gleeson began works on a farm and vineyard. Prominent London wine merchants, the Burgoyne family purchased the site two years later and grew it into a significant exporter of fortified wines to Britain. By 1903 they had become the largest state-of-the-art wine producing facility in Australia, growing 280 hectares of Shiraz, Durif, and Muscat and building several (now-heritage-listed) structures, including the striking French provincial tower, a nod to their heritage. Tax changes contributed to the Burgoynes selling in 1955 to a sheep farmer, who removed the vines for grazing and carved off much of the land. A bed and breakfast operator then bought the 50 hectares that remained, planting a small parcel of Shiraz vines in the mid-1990s, and tending to the land along sustainable permaculture principles. The fourth-generation winemaking Brown family—siblings Angela, Eliza and Nick—took over Mount Ophir in 2016, attracted by its heritage buildings and interesting clay-over-quartz soil profile, which differed to their existing wineries at All Saints Estate and St Leonards vineyards. Over several years the family spent countless hours lovingly restoring and refurbishing Mount Ophir’s historic buildings, including the sprawling wine making facility at its heart, to bring the winery back to its former glory. 

WINEMAKER

Fourth-generation winemaker Nick Brown is the son of the late viticulturalist Peter Brown, who hailed from the celebrated family wine makers Brown Brothers. Nick grew up on wineries, learning from a young age how to prune the vines, drive the tractor, and keep the cellar door olives and cheese stocked. After stints travelling as a young man and working in engineering and hospitality, Nick realised wine was his calling when helping with a vintage in Bordeaux, France. He returned to study wine making at the University of Adelaide, graduated in 2006 and joined his sisters Angela and Eliza running their family wineries at All Saints Estate and St Leonards. Since becoming head winemaker in 2015 Nick has adopted a sustainable approach to viticulture with a focus on minimal intervention. His commitment to quality has also led to awards, with his Museum Rutherglen Muscadelle and Muscat both receiving 99 points in the Halliday Wine Companion 2021. “I believe to produce the best wine from the grapes you’ve got you need to know them inside out,” says Nick. 

2019 MOUNT OPHIR ESTATE SHIRAZ 2019 MOUNT OPHIR ESTATE SHIRAZ

2019 MOUNT OPHIR ESTATE SHIRAZ

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