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  Drawn 1st Saturday of each quarter
  Fowles The Rule Shiraz 2013
Fowles The Rule Shiraz.gif
An excellent flagship wine from Fowles in the Strathbogie ranges. Marking an stylistic evolution, 40% of this vintage was matured in American oak sourced from the Shenandoah Valley, Pennsylvania, providing a soft rich mid palate and adding coconut and spice notes. Maturation of the remaining 60% in a variety of French oak has added intriguing complexity and layers to the wine.

A dense mulberry hue in the glass, an inviting tangle of blackberry, blueberry, vanilla and liquorice excite the senses. There's a dusting of white pepper and black peppercorn alongside some oaky spice. The palate has great depth, with ripe plum and dark chocolate density balanced elegantly by some lighter red fruit from the 7.5% Cabernet blend. Tannins are silky and well rounded with great length. Cellaring recommended for 10 years plus.

Awards and Accolades

Past Vintages

2010: 94 Points - James Halliday, Australian Wine Companion
"Attractive purple-crimson; a rich, medium- to full-bodied wine flooded with blackberry, plum, spice and dark chocolate flavours that persist right through to the finish; exemplary oak and tannin management."

2010: 92+ Points - Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front
"“The Rule” shiraz is grown on the same vineyards – at roughly 480 metres above sea levels – as the Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch shiraz, though on different blocks. This wine was grown on blocks planted in those glorious vineyard plantings days of 1995 and 1996. It sees a mix of new and old French and American oak.

It’s playing its cards close to its chest for now. Good concentration of dark plum and tar-like flavour with pepper spice and musk/vanilla as highlights. Warm, almost baked fruit flavours though enough spice to keep its “cool climate” personality intact. Crushed pepeprcorns. Tight, fine-grained, spice tannin. Needs a decent stint in a cool, dark place."

From the Winery

The fruit for this wine was harvested during the day in the final week of March 2013. We fermented this wine at around 23˚Celsius in small (9 tonne) stainless steel open top fermenters. We chose to ferment using these vessels as it allows us to retain primary fruit flavours and close control over the extraction process. This is important when we seek to maximise extraction of colour and tannin in the wine.

We selected two yeasts to ferment this wine - L2056 and RP-15. A Rhone valley isolate, L2056 is renowned for helping winemakers craft complex Shiraz with pronounced fruit aromas. The second yeast, RP-15, was isolated from a vineyard in Sonoma County California called Rock Pile (hence the ‘RP’ acronym) and is renowned for helping produce rich and full bodied wines.

The vintage of 2013 was warm and dry. With a forecast for hot weather, we ensured vines were watered ahead of the curve to keep them fresh. In an average year we normally start irrigating in mid December, but due to soil moisture levels during this vintage we began irrigating in early October and continued up until we began picking blocks. While these conditions made our dam levels dip, they were perfect for producing red grapes with intense colour and flavour. The more southerly aspect of Block 6 means grapes grown here are a little bit cooler and more protected, resulting in fruit with morerestrained and perfumed characteristics. Block 7, with its more northerly aspect, receives more sunshine and as a result the fruitdevelops more intense colour and flavour. When blended, the distinctive characteristics of fruit from these blocks complement eachother and help contribute complexity and balance in the wine.

This vintage was the one in which we decided to evolve the style of The Rule. Compared to previous vintages, we used a significantly greater proportion of new American oak in 2013. We have been trialing a range of American oak barrels in the last few years to find to the right match for this wine. We finally settled on American oak barrels (500 L) from AP John Coopers. The timber for these barrels has been sourced from forests in Shenandoah Valley region, Pennsylvania and has been air seasoned for 3 years. These barrels help provide a rich soft mid palate and subtle coconut and spice characters in the wine. The larger component of this wine (60 per cent) was matured in one year old French oak Puncheons from a number of different coopers; all of which help build layers of interest in this wine.

Don't Pay: $50.00

WBW Rating: 94/100
Closure: Stelvin
Region: Strathbogie Ranges, VIC
Winemaker: Victor Nash and Lindsay Brown
Drink now until: 2025+
Alc/Vol: 14.5 %
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