You may have picked up over our communications, that we are big on philosophy. Namely that when winemaking and farming philosophy of the vigneron respects the vineyard and a minimal intervention approach in the cellar, with a skillful and careful human touch. This often gives an extra dimension of quality, nuance, subtlety and balance to the wine. You will also likely know that there is very little that is subtle about Barossa Shiraz; it can be one of the worlds ballsiest, fullest and heaviest wines, expressing power, flavour and fruit above all else. However, in the hands of English-turn-Australian, Michael Hall, it achieves polish, elegance, balance and depth that many cannot achieve. His philosophy is simple and it lines up with ours, ‘good wine can be made in the winery, but fine wine owes its quality to the vineyard”.
Michael Hall was a jeweller for Sotheby’s in Switzerland before he came to Australia and became a winemaker; so, it is fair to say that he has an eye for quality and a habit of attention to detail. He moved to Australia and enrolled in winemaking at 40, finishing dux of the class at Charles Sturt University. Since then, his roll-call of vintages is a list of our favourite Australian wineries, which backs up his talk and solidifies his philosophy of winemaking as gold (had to do it). He has worked at Australian icons Cullen, Giaconda, Henschke and Shaw + Smith as well as a list of impressive French estates. He established his own brand in 2008 and we were buying these impressive first releases in 2010.
We recommend getting across all of Michael’s wines, especially the reds, but today we are offering the Sang de Pigeon Shiraz 2017 from the Barossa Valley. This wine is sourced from highly regarded Barossa sub-regions of Greenock and Stone Well (as well as a small proportion of Eden Valley and Adelaide Hills fruit). The fruit is handpicked (not as common as you think in Barossa), and fermented naturally, with no adds to kick off the ferment. The wine spends a long 21 months in French oak, though only a tiny percentage of this is new. Here Michael achieves a savoury and earthy structure that sits well with the intense, full bodied, dark fruit flavours of quality Barossa Shiraz. It is rich on the palate though flows evenly and has incredibly freshness and depth.
It is a steal for under $30. It will benefit from five to eight years of cellaring so don’t be afraid to lay it down. It has a 95 from Halliday’s Wine Companion next to its name, and the following impressive note; “Sang de Pigeon is a reference to the colour of the finest ruby’s in former jeweller Michael Hall’s past history. No doubting that it is an evocative colour descriptor for this wine either. Fruit takes the front seat here, blackcurrants, a note of red fruit and a dusting of cinnamon spice, medium-bodied, smooth and loaded with velvety tannin. Nothing overdone or out of place.”
The perfect wine for cold nights, lasagnas and roast meats. Please enjoy.