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Jack's Back

Friday, May 26, 2017

When Jack Stanton planted a block of Shiraz in 1921, it was only a few years after he had returned from war and Australia was greeting the new decade with cautious optimism. With the help of his father - third generation winemaker John Richard Stanton -Jack established his own winery not far from the original Stanton property. Almost 100 years later, and after much patience and care in rejuvenating this very old vineyard, we have released one of our most special wines, the 2016 Jack’s Block Shiraz.

Our last release was in 2008, when the Millennial Drought started to take its toll on this precious block. The soil and vines were showing severe stress when our new vineyard manager Ruston Prescott started in December 2013. One of his first tasks was to implement an intensive nutrition program to bring these vines back to full health. The ecology of the site was improved by introducing biological sprays, planting cover crops and and changing the canopy structure. These steps help to retain soil moisture, encourage insects and bees to return, put nutrients back into the ground and protect the fruit from harsh summer weather.

As each year passed the vines improved and responded by producing big, bright flavoursome bunches of fruit. The 2016 vintage was a great one for Rutherglen and our winemaker Andrew Drumm saw the opportunity to produce a wine that showcased the premium, high quality fruit. All along the goal has been to produce a wine with balance and a cellar-worthy structure.

Not all wines can last the distance, but with careful selection of oak and keeping the acid and sugar levels in harmony, we feel this wine will really start to shine as a 6-8 year old wine and maybe even older. It’s not unusual to enjoy a 20-year-old red wine from Rutherglen, as our climate and soils offer the perfect backdrop to high quality reds. The best way to cellar for longevity is to store wines in a cool dry place away from temperature fluctuations.

Only a small amount was made from this 1.69 hectare vineyard. S&K club members received the first opportunity to secure their allocation, with a national release due for July. For detailed tasting notes, please visit the Jack's Block page. The recent 2017 vintage has proven to be an excellent Shiraz year with slow steady ripening and rich colour and flavour. Members will be the first to hear about this release, otherwise you can sign up to our Quinta Quarterly newsletter to stay in touch.