2021 Ancient Stones Shiraz


Intriguing, unexpected + compelling

Our most ambitious effort yet, Ancient Stones is hand harvested from the top two rows of the oldest Shiraz on our Bracken vineyard. A labor of love in both the vineyard and the winery, the fruit is crushed into a mix of old and new open French barrels to ferment, before the heads are replaced, and the wine spends a further 270 days on skins. The result of which is a truly special wine. 

A beguiling nose opens on leather, chinotto and cascara. On the palate, petrichor; that elusive element of cool rain on sun drenched stone. Slatey minerality meets savoury passata, iodine, and a lavender haze of dried florals. The tannins are resolved, their fine grain quality lingering long into the evening.

Wine Notes

The vinification of this wine involves removing the heads from 6 French oak barrels to crush the Shiraz directly into these vessels for fermentation. Once the sugar has fermented to alcohol, we carefully drain the free run out of the barrels, before gently manouevring the hoops from the body of the barrels, and carefully slotting the heads back in. At this stage, the barrels are sealed back up for a further 270 days before pressing. This long, arduous process ultimately results in a fine, ethereal wine, by allowing contact between the wine and the skins to resolve tannins and stabilise colour.

The extended maceration process used here keeps the skins and seeds in contact with the wine for far longer than the typical 7 to 10 days that a red wine would spend on skins. The skins and seeds of a grape are where the phenols are located; these are the molecules that give wines their colour and tannin structure. As you would expect, the longer the skins are in contact with the wine, the more tannin content in the resulting wine. Curiously, this doesn’t actually make the wines taste more tannic, as these molecules are polymerising (binding up to become larger) during this process, which actually makes the wine appear smoother, and more elegant. 


Hand harvested from the very top of our Bracken Vineyard, these Shiraz vines were planted in 1965. Though Blewitt Springs is known for its sandy soils, there is an obvious demarcation on our vineyard between Maslin sands and what we have come to call our “ancient stones”, depositions from a receding seabed. This stones trap the heat of the day during the growing season, radiating the sunshine into the vine canopy, and resulting in fruit of intense power.

Food Pairing

Savoury aromas and fine grain tannin need to be complemented with richness and spice. Try pappardelle with beef shin ragu for a truly winning combination.


Drink now or watch this wine continue to evolve for 10+ years

Limited to 960 individually numbered bottles.