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Product code: 8352

Stella Bella, Shiraz, Margaret River, Australia, 2017

Stella Bella, Shiraz, Margaret River, Australia, 2017

Producer Profile

This boutique winery in the heart of Margaret River creates idiosyncratic named ranges like Suckfizzle and Skuttlebutt in a low interventionist and organic way keeping their approach as simple as possible to allow their cherished vineyards to show their quality.

It is not merely in the names where these wines are memorable, as once you have tasted them you will see why Luke Jolliffe, the winemaker, continues to receive recognition and awards from around the world for wines that have that wonderful Margaret River restraint and elegance, but are bound together with a fruit purity that makes them delectable.

Viticulture

Their philosophy regarding viticulture is simple, and that is to operate in a manner that consciously respects the vineyards that they tend as well as the local environment. Minimal chemical inputs and fertilisers are used along with minimal intervention as - aiming for vine balance. Stella Bella are acutely aware of the environmentally pristine nature of this part of the world and manage their vineyards accordingly. An example of this is their recent introduction of Cryptolaemus montrouzieri (the Australian Native Ladybird) to predate on mealy bugs. This has been a very successful natural control measure. Sheep are used in the vineyard over winter to reduce/eliminate the use of herbicides. Unlike almost all other wine producing regions, because Western Australia is free from Phylloxera, Stella Bella wines are all on their own roots, and not on rootstock, which arguably gives them a purer expression of the various cultivars grown and the respective sites they are planted in. Fruit is picked on a combination of flavour, vine condition, sugar/pH/TA and intuition. They pick across a spectrum of ripeness levels for complexity. Every block is picked and vinified separately for maximum blending options. Swards of rye and clover have been planted to help prevent soil compaction and to assist in fixing nitrogen. The vines are all trellised using Vertical Shoot Position (VSP), and are spur-pruned with the exception of a couple of older blocks of Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc that are cane pruned. Spur-pruning helps to ensure that the spur spacing results in the correct shoot spacing in the canopy, which in turn leads to well-exposed leaves and fruit. This results in them obtaining the optimum balance between leaves, canes and bunches.

Winemaking

All the individual vineyards that contribute to the Shiraz are vinified separately. Selected batches are fermented with 10% whole bunch for about 6 days on skins. Maturation occurs in a mix of new and old barriques with 20% new oak.

Oak Treatment

Time: 13 Months
Type: French
% wine oaked: 100
% new oak: 20

Tasting Note

Vibrant, deep red with a purple hue. An enticing bouquet of Damson plum, mulberry and dark chocolate, with notes of anise and cherry, spiced vanillin oak in the background. The wine is medium to full bodied and the palate plush and velvety. The tannins are ripe and finely grained. The nose follows through seamlessly to the palate, enhanced by nuances of blueberry, sweet spice and varietal black pepper. The flavour lingers, finishing with fresh acidity and a fine slate‐like minerality.

Food Matching

Barbequed butterfly leg of lamb or lamb shanks or devine with this wine.

Awards

Halliday Wine Companion Awards 2020 93 Points
93 Points

Technical Details
Varieties:
Shiraz 97%
Viognier 3%
ABV:
14.5%

Closure:
Screw cap

Colour:
Red

Style:
Still wine

Case Size:
12 x 75cl