Fourth generation winemaker Chester Osborn was in Venice when this block was purchased. The land nearby has a spring-fed dam providing an abundance of water and inspiring its name.
Above average autumn rains set the vines up well. There was some heat during flowering which reduced crop levels but had no ill-effects on quality. There was some more warm weather in January as the reds were going through verasion, this did no damage, but did encourage an early start to vintage. The day time temperatures were mild throughout ripening with mild to cool nights. 2010 was a very strong vintage in McLaren Vale with the reds in particular showing excellent varietal characters and balance.
Small batches of grapes are crushed gently and then transferred to five tonne headed down open fermenters. These batches remain separate until final blending. Foot treading is undertaken two thirds of the way through fermentation. The wine is then basket pressed and transferred to a mixture of new and used French and old American oak barriques to complete fermentation. The barrel ferments are aged on lees, there is no racking until final blending and no fining or filtration.
The Little Venice Shiraz has a lifted nose; currants, plums and pepper with cedary spice all wrapped up in fresh potter's clay. There are appealing notes of saline fruit, forest floor and truffles that bring complexity. The palate starts with plenty of concentration and weight, then there's a pile of red and dark currants and plums to bring freshness and vibrancy. The tannins are long and mineral laced, finishing with a twist of crushed ants, meatiness and mushrooms that are becoming the hallmarks of this vineyard. While restrained in youth, with bottle age it will open up to reveal more layered and complex secondary characters. With careful cellaring this wine will drink well until at least 2030.