2005 Thomas Vineyard Estate Reserve Shiraz


  • Gold Medal. 2008 Visy Great Australian Shiraz Challenge – rated 4th best Shiraz
  • Trophy. Best Shiraz. 2008 Australian Boutique Wine Awards
  • Silver Medal. 2009 Visy Great Australian Shiraz Challenge


  • Five stars. Impenetrable purple, verging on black, hyper concentrated regional style swollen with bitter chocolate, blackberry and plum, a heroic Henry VIII style!. 2008 James Halliday Australian Wine Companion
  • 94 points. Five Stars. This new maker has two ripping Shirazes. The Reserve is concentrated, rich and ripe, but not over the top or alchol-hot; rather its chock-full of bold plum and chocolate flavours with a lick of licorice. Fruit-sweet, big and chunky.. Huon Hooke, Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine 2007
  • Top Aussie Red. Huon Hooke, Good Living Magazine, Sydney Morning Herald, October 2006

Download a PDF of the tasting notes


Good winter rainfall in the McLaren Vale region and a mild start to the growing season allowed for healthy vine growth in the 2005 season. The result was early ripening of high quality fruit showing strong varietal characteristics. That coupled with the low crop loads in the Thomas Vineyards and the maritime influences experienced in the Willunga basin have resulted in fruit and therefore wine with intense ripe flavours and excellent structure.


Fruit with the most intense varietal characters was selected for the Reserve Shiraz wine and picked on March 3rd 2005 and immediately transported to the winery for processing. It is fermented under cool conditions with a selected yeast strain to retain the aromatic characteristics of the fruit while developing the structure and tannin backbone of the wine.

The wine once fermented was pressed using a basket press (a particularly gentle method) then seeded with a selected malolactic culture again to enhance and retain the fruit characteristics. After malolactic fermentation is completed the wine is racked into predominantly new french oak for maturation. A mixture of french oak barrels is used to give an elegant complexity of oak characteristics.

During the 18 months maturation in oak the wine is racked to assist its clarification and reduce the need for filtration of the finished wine.

Minimalist handling techniques have been utilised at all stages of the production of this wine in an attempt to reduce maceration of fruit and retain as much of its premium fruit character while still enhancing the structure and intense flavour of the wine.

Technical aspects

Geographic region – McLaren Vale
Picking date – 3 March 2005
Variety – 100% Shiraz – Estate grown
Sugar level – 15.5 Baume
Release date – December 2006
Cellaring potential – 10 to 15 years


Appearance – Inky, dark garnet red with purple hues

Nose – Ripe blackberry and chocolate characters with a hint of tar. Elegant oak and tobacco notes.

Palate – Again intense blackberry fruit with ripe mulberry characters and sweet oak. A rich, luxuriant mouthfeel with concentrated fruit extract and grainy tannins that balance the fruit and alcohol. The integrated oak tannins persist through to complement the lingering, jammy, fruit driven palate.

A big powerful wine with amazing length of palate and persistence, will drink well and improve with further bottle maturation for at least ten to fifteen years.

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