As in many winemaking trends the arguments move like a pendulum driven by a mix of technology and fashion.
At Lethbridge our decision to destem or to use whole bunch is largely vineyard driven with some terroirs consistently producing wines of greater interest, complexity and textural smoothness or silkiness that is rarely seen without the use of stems. The ‘Indra’ block at the Lethbridge vineyard is one such site.
Each year the percentage of whole bunch is different, but with the beautiful ripeness achieved in 2013 we have made this wine with incorporation of 80% whole bunch. initially the wine may seem tannic and impenetrable but with time this will resolve nicely into a wine for those seeking complexity and elegance over fruit and power.
“A lengthy apology on the label for the use of varying amounts of whole bunches paves the way for the disclosure of 80% in this shiraz. It is more elegant than the '14 wines, albeit with the particular savoury/stemmy nuances of whole bunches, something that will polarise opinions on the mouthwatering impact of the inclusion.” 95 points, James Halliday
“Firm and tight with tangy fruit slicing through. Quite a deal of glossy, cedary, fresh wood too. The commanding side of cool climate shiraz. Roasted nuts, twists of herbs, dry liquorice and deep black cherry. Broody at the moment. Fully robed. It needs more than a decant; it needs a few years.” 94 points, Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front