Howard Park Leston Shiraz 2000
It may sound improbable, but it was a passion for the sea and for riding the wild surf of Western Australia’s remote Margaret River region that led Jeff Burch to discover his affinity for wine. Now serving as the proud owner of Howard Park wines, Jeff and his family aim to craft boutique wines with an uncompromising commitment to quality.
Howard Park is one of Western Australia’s pioneering family-owned wineries, specializing in the state’s premier grape-growing regions of Margaret River and the Great Southern. Encompassing a 30+ year history and overseen by two generations of the Burch family, Howard Park is a multi-regional endeavor which has included the selection, acquisition and development of four exceptional estate vineyards across both regions as well as a winery and Cellar Door in Margaret River.
The winery is led by legendary winemaker, and winner of the 2018 Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine ‘Winemaker of the Year’, Janice McDonald. Howard Park is also a proud member of Australia’s First Families of Wine (AFFW), a collective of twelve multi-generational family-owned wine producers. Together representing seventeen wine-growing regions across Australia and forty-eight generations of winemakers. The Howard Park insignia celebrates the creation of the vine and its forbidden fruits as in the biblical reference of Garden of Eden. With the union of its “Tree of Life” symbol and intertwined winged dragon, signifying the essential creative balance between the experience of temptation and ultimate enlightenment.
Howard Park has a very simple mantra when it comes to the production of its wines - premium wine can only come from excellent fruit. Since its foundation Howard Park has held the belief that each variety is best suited to particular climates and soil types within the two premium wine regions of Western Australia, Margaret River and the Great Southern. Howard Park’s Margaret River vineyards (Allingham & Leston) and the winery carry certification from the Winemakers Federation of Australia’s EntWine initiative for environmentally conscious practices. Sustainability is at the very heart of their vineyard management and while not certified, they have carefully chosen organic and biodynamic principles from Australia and overseas, to best cater for each individual vineyard block and their nuances. Chemicals and pesticides are avoided in the Howard Park vineyards, the winemaking facilities are 100% water sufficient, using rainwater collected from the roof for both winery and irrigation needs. Vineyard pests are kept under control by roving guinea fowl and flocks of sheep serve as environmentally friendly weed management.
Home to some of Australia’s most elegant and long-lived red and white wines, Margaret River is situated in the farthest reaches of Western Australia. Relatively warm and dry, the region is cooled by breezes from the Indian Ocean. Margaret River takes some inspiration from Bordeaux, producing top-quality Cabernet Sauvignons and Bordeaux Blends with firm structure, mouthwatering acidity, balanced alcohol and notes of herbs and spice. For white wines, refreshing blends of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon as well as complex, age-worthy Chardonnays are regional specialties.
Marked by an unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah makes an intense, powerful and often age-worthy red. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah achieves its maximum potential in the steep village of Hermitage and plays an important component in the Red Rhône Blends of the south, adding color and structure to Grenache and Mourvèdre. Syrah is the most widely planted grape of Australia and is important in California and Washington. Sommelier Secret—Such a synergy these three create together, the Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre trio often takes on the shorthand term, “GSM.”