"I like Roman numerals, but I don’t know if I should always name wines that way, but I like XIV here. A friend was a chef at a restaurant in Hollywood called XIV. The fourteenth letter of the alphabet is N, there was a Californian gang, I think, called N, that wore red colors," says Fraser.
In 2013 the worst frosting in the history of Hoffman vineyard was recorded, and that’s from journals that date back to the 19th century. Then 2014 came along and it was worse. "It was horrible but the Hoffman’s worked around it, we re-pruned the vineyard back to bare, then some fruit came back…what we picked from 2014 we picked in the second week of April, we were two months behind, and that growth equated to 962 liters a hectare…it was heartbreaking, but we found our way," said Fraser.
The ‘Hors Choix’ or ‘Super Choice’ from the very modest and arduous 2014 season. After bearing the heartache of losing the initial crop to merciless spring frosts Fraser harvested the second shooting of the vines during the first two weeks of April; a full two months later than accustomed. Harvest is typically tended to clad in beach attire in mid-late February; this years pickings were carried out in jackets and woollen hats. When all was said and done, yields equated to a rather minute .42 tons per acre. The numbers speak volumes of a season this unique so (for entertainment value) they are listed below:
DW-OLD (0.775 Hectare) 2 Barriques 885 plants sown between 1888 & 1912 (9 rows x 95 plants)
ER-27 (1.07 Hectare) 3 Barriques 1170 plants from 1927 (30 rows x 39 plants)
DW-95VSP (1.979 Hectare) 4 Barriques 2898 plants from 1995 (21 rows x 138 plants)
DW-96VSP (0.868 Hectare) 2 Barriques 1236 plants from 1996 (12 rows x 103 plants)
Very concentrated, deep, moody wine. Compact, inky-textured, firm with dusty tannins roping through the wine. Smells of black currants, prunes, figs, tobacco, wet earth. Flavors are dark, decidedly savory, of earth, elemental and rugged, but so good. It’s a wine that tells a story, but satisfies with its heft and carriage and structure. Lean back, relax, let it unwind, dig in. A wine of immense charisma.
- Region: Barossa Valley
- Varietal: 100% Syrah
- Vintage: 2014
- Vineyard: Hoffman's Dallwitz Vineyard
- Vine Age: 112 years old
- Yield: .42 tons per acre
- Soil Type: Fractured Red Clay and Ironstone
- Oak: 9 months in French barrique (25% new)
- Production: 274 cases produced
With a rich history dating back to 1847, a profound and unique Silesian (German) influence, the Barossa Valley is one of the most famous wine regions of South Australia and, indeed, Australia. The region is now rightly asserting not only its importance to the wine industry but the inestimable value of its storehouse of century-old vines and historic wineries. Learn More »
The Barossa is the home of shiraz in Australia. It is a place that saw most of the country's famous Shiraz come to life. A lot of truly spectacular wines have emerged from this region. However, more recently there has been one man who is doing his own thing, pushing for ever-more pure and balanced wines: Fraser McKinley. Learn More »
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