Vitto Oles & Candi
Rocky Passes Estate
1590 Highlands Rd
+61 3 5796 9366
by Vitto Oles
Vineyard notes and
In small vineyards like
every year is different and so is every wine ...
but always with something in common. It's intriguing.
2010 Estate Syrah (Shiraz)- Drink 2025 14.5% alc. rated 94/100
Good colour; a wine that builds on the promise of the ’09, with a complex bouquet of leather, spice and licorice over black fruits, the medium- to full-bodied palate providing a replay of the bouquet, but with greater intensity; excellent cellaring potential, and outstanding value.
2009 was a difficult
year, with a severe hail storm in September, the heat wave (we had 10
days in the mid 40's!) and then the fires. A season we will
never forget. We were very lucky compared to
others. Many lost their crop to the heat … the grapes simply
cooked on the vines. We thought that our fruit may not ripen,
even though it survived the hail and heat, but ripen it did ... and
when tested, luckily we found no smoke taint. The low yield
and canopy management saved us and the small bunches were packed with
2009 Estate Syrah- Drink 2020 14.5% alc. rated 90/100
Good depth to the colour; a fragrant bouquet of freshly tanned leather and licorice, then a powerful palate with the bouquet aromas superimposed on the black fruit and licorice core. Low allergen. Interesting wine.
In 2008, the grapes
ripened steadily with a much milder Summer than previous years ... in
fact it caught everyone by surprise, resulting in very full-bodied,
intense wines. We had a small crop after heavy pruning
because of frost damage the year before ... but it was beautiful.
have blended our Syrah with 30% Cabernet Sauvignon to make a complex,
rich wine ... loads of black fruit, chocolate plums, cinnamon.
2008 Estate Syrah Cabernet blend
15% alc. rated 89/100
spicy, minty characters run through the bouquet and palate
attesting to the cool climate; savoury, herbal tannins on the finish
accentuate the impact.
in Australian Small Winemakers Show, 2009.
2008 Cabernet Sauvignon 15% alc.
Not yet reviewed
The Cabernet Sauvignon is delicious … rich dark chocolate, plums and
The growing season for
the 2007 vintage was tough. Many lost their crop to frost
including us, which is why we bought grapes from Sugarloaf to make our
'07. Sugarloaf had very little frost damage, and some very
nice fruit that had reached its optimum ripeness (balanced Baumé and
pH with good flavours) when we picked. It was very
interesting for us to make wine from another vineyard's grapes grown on
different soils (volcanic compared to our clay loam over ironstone) ...
both non-irrigated at that time ... and using different wine-making
2007 Sugarloaf Syrah (Shiraz) -
13% alc. rated 87/100
medium-bodied palate; some elements of sweet and sour, moving from
confit flavours on the mid-palate to a savoury finish.
2006 was a hot year, but
kept the canopy down to protect the grapes and we were very happy … no
water in the dam but there was plenty of sunlight to ripen the grapes;
a lovely low-yield crop with full- flavoured, small berries.
2006 Estate Syrah (Shiraz)- Drink
alc. rated 92/100
Has a silky
texture to the medium-bodied palate, where juicy red and blackberry
fruits slide through to the finish and aftertaste.
The Spring before the
vintage brought exceptionally good rains with over 60% of the annual
average falling between July and December. However, November
and December brought humid weather with the threat of powdery
mildew. Fortunately, good airflow through the canopy
prevented any fungal disease. 2005 had the coldest and
wettest February on record, bringing with it a premature autumn in many
vineyards, including ours. Despite this, and probably because
we bunch thin for low yield and maximum flavour, the grapes reached
optimum ripeness and were harvested on March 26th.
2005 Estate Syrah (Shiraz)- Drink
13.8% alc. rated 94/100
blackberry, plum, licorice and prune on both bouquet and palate;
excellent structure with ripe tannins and good length. Top-quality
biodynamically grown wine.
Our first vintage in 2004
from the small house block (9 year old vines) and the first plantings
on Block 1 of the main vineyard. The year brought just below
average rain which we relied on as we had no irrigation. We
mulched the top of Block 1 and only needed to hand water
twice. Pity mulching is so labour intensive. Started using biodynamic
preparations and agro-ploughed the inter-rows
to aerate the soil, capture moisture and humus.
2004 Estate Syrah (Shiraz) - Drink 2015
14.4% alc. rated 90/100
abundant blackberry, plum and spice fruit; equally abundant tannins
needed a little fining; nonetheless great value and potential.