2014 was an excellent year. The wines from 2014 are strong with deep and vibrant colour, excellent fruit definition and solid but integrated tannin structure ensuring longevity for the wines. The 2014 growing season began with slightly above average Winter rainfall however Spring and early Summer were very dry with 40% less rain than normal. Temperatures were also up with the Spring/Summer growing season being an average of 2 degrees C warmer. However, this dry and warm season changed dramatically in mid February with 100mm of rain falling, the wettest February day in 45 years. The rain slowed the ripening of the grapes considerably, but average mild temperatures followed in March (25.7 degrees C) which ensured good flavour and moderate sugar development producing outstanding quality.
The Grenache comes from a 4-acre single vineyard block planted in the early 1900s. These vines are dry-grown, producing grapes of intense favour. The vineyard soil on the block is shallow sand over sandstone at the top end of the block, with sandy loamy soil over red clay at the bottom end of the block. Yields are about 1 to 1.5 tons to the acre. The Shiraz and Mourvédre blocks are similar in soil profiles to the Grenache block with the addition of quartz and iron stone. Each block has its unique features that result in additional layers of complex in the finished wine.
The Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvédre blocks were harvested from March 6th through to April 11th. All varieties were fermented separately in open top fermenters with hand pump overs twice a day during fermentation. After seven to fourteen days on skins the fermented grapes were traditionally pressed. To preserve the superb fresh fruit flavours of the Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvédre, wines were only aged in old French oak hogsheads for up to 24 months. On completion of maturation, components were blended for balanced flavour, texture and complexity and allowed time to full integrate prior to bottling.
2014 1864 Greenock GSM is vivid purple – black in colour. There are inviting and lifted aromatics of wild berries, rose perfume, marzipan, all-spice, raspberry, musk, licorice and a touch of forest earth. The full bodied palate is filled with juicy dark berry fruits. Fresh and bright, ripe tannins add backbone and structure. The hallmark of this well balanced wine is the purity of fruit, respected long term maturation in seasoned French barrels. Very drinkable, this GSM is completed by a lengthy finish. This is an approachable, fruit-driven wine that can be enjoyed now but will cellaring well over decade.