Oliverhill Red Silk Shiraz 2013
Oliverhill is a small boutique winery located in McLaren Vale South Australia (McLaren Vale has been referred to as the middle palate of Australian wine). Linda and Stuart Miller own this winery, which was founded in 1973, and is near the spectacular Onkaparinga Gorge National Park. They specialize in premium quality, limited production reds. Specifically, a single vineyard Shiraz, “Jimmy Section”, coming from a small 5-acre plot, planted 47 years ago, a Cabernet Sauvignon, grown on the lower section of the same vineyard along with some Durif, and their “Red Silk” Shiraz, also from their home vineyard.
Oliverhill is an actual strip of dirt situated on famous Seaview Rd., along which is grown arguably some of the best fruit in Australia. At the base of the hill are wineries such as d'Arenberg (their Dead Arm Vineyard is directly across the street) and Maxwell's, and further along the road, Kay Brothers (known for Block 6 Shiraz) and Coriole. There are also various high quality growers up on this hill, and the fruit that is grown along this road often makes its way into Penfolds Grange and the famous Rosemount Balmoral label. And then, right in the thick of all this, is this tiny property owned by the Millers. The wines from here represent the most classic elements that one expects from this special part of McLaren Vale.
All four reds are produced in an extremely limited format with total production hovering around 3000 cases of 12. The Millers are producing hand-crafted wines that are truly artisan in style. They will never produce a lot of wine, but what they do produce will always be of the highest quality. Sustainable vineyard practices, minimal intervention hand-crafted wines, are what Oliverhill wines represent.
Known for opulent red wines with intense power and concentration, McLaren Vale is home to perhaps the most “classic” style of Australian Shiraz. Vinified on its own or in Rhône Blends, these hot-climate wines are deeply colored and high in extract with signature hints of dark chocolate and licorice. Cabernet Sauvignon is also produced in a similar style.
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.”