ALPHA CRUCIS WINEMAKERS SERIES

One vineyard. Six leading Australian winemakers. Six award winning wines.

The Alpha Crucis Winemakers Series is a unique, world-first concept started in 2008 and only released in vintages of exceptional quality.

The Series explores the influence a winemaker has over how a wine tastes. Six of Australia's leading winemakers were entrusted with grapes from our Heritage Vineyard and tasked with making a wine that reflects their artistic vision and winemaking philosophy.

The philosophy is similar to commissioning six artists to create a painting using the same materials. In doing so, they each express their unique talents and vision for us to judge according to our personal tastes. Similarly, each wine in the Winemakers Series is unique and reflects both the personality and artistry of the winemaker.

2015 Alpha Crucis Winemakers Series Shiraz - Renae Hirsch

Renae is the winemaker for Chalk Hill in McLaren Vale.

Harvest date: 12 February 2015.

Rows: 1, 7, 13, 19, 25 and 31.

Method: A natural yeast culture was started in the vineyard three days prior to harvest and pitched into the fementation once harvested. We did this by handpicking two buckets of grapes from the vineyard, crushing them by hand and allowing the natural yeast to flourish. The fermentation had 25% of the grapes as whole bunch which provides lovely aromatics to the resulting wine.

The wine spent 10 days on skins before being pressed when dry into 100% French oak puncheons, all of which were second use.

2015 Alpha Crucis Winemakers Series Shiraz - Tim Knappstein

Tim is the owner of and winemaker for Riposte Wines in the Adelaide Hills.

Harvest date: 12 February 2015.

Rows: 4, 10, 16, 22, 28 and 34.

Method: 25% handpicked and transferred to one fermenter as follows: 25% whole bunch, 36% whole berry and 39% crushed and destemmed. The yeast used was Lallemand RC212 more usually used for Pinot Noir. The fermentation lasted 10 days and the wine was pressed off after 14. The press was a modern Miller bag press programmed to mimic the press cycle of a basket press.

The wine was racked off gross lees directly to oak barrels, where it spontaneously went through malolactic fermentation. The oak was 35% new, with the balance of various ages.

2015 Alpha Crucis Winemakers Series Shiraz - Kerri Thompson

Kerri is the owner of and winemaker for Wines by KT in the Clare Valley.

Harvest date: 12 February 2015.

Rows: 2, 8, 14, 20, 26 and 32.

Method: The grapes were 100% hand picked, with 40% whole bunch method. It was fermented on a small amount of Riesling skins (a handful of buckets), which were placed at the bottom of the fermenter prior to the Shiraz fruit going in. It fermented on skins for 2 weeks with a natural yeast ferment. The only addition was a small sulfur addition. It was pressed into French oak barrels of which 30% were new and the rest were second use. The wine was not fined or filtered.

2015 Alpha Crucis Winemakers Series Shiraz - Peter Schell

Peter is the owner/winemaker for Spinifex Wines in the Barossa Valley.

Harvest date: 12 February 2015.

Rows: 3, 9, 15, 21, 27 and 33.

Method: 25% of fruit was retained as whole bunches, the balance fully destemmed but not crushed. Fermentation was undertaken in an open stainless steel fermenter with indigenous yeasts and the wine remained on skins for 10 days prior to pressing. Free run and press wines were immediately back blended prior to the young, lightly settled wine being transferred to Burgundy and Bordeaux coopered barriques (65%, half new) and a seasoned puncheon (35%). Racked twice prior to bottling without filtration. After fermentation it was pressed off into French oak, 20% of which was new, the remainder second and third use.

2015 Alpha Crucis Winemakers Series Shiraz - Corrina Wright

Corrina is the director of and winemaker for Olivers Taranga Vineyards.

Harvest date: 12 February 2015.

Rows: 5, 11, 17, 23, 29 and 35.

Method: After crushing, a natural and open ferment took place. Starting with two days of cold soak on skins at 8 degrees, before warming up for a 10 day ferment. After fermentation it was pressed off into French oak, 20% of which was new, the remainder second and third use.

2015 Alpha Crucis Winemakers Series Shiraz - Rebecca Willson

Rebecca is the winemaker for Bremerton Wines in Langhorne Creek.

Harvest date: 12 February 2015.

Rows: 6, 12, 18, 24, 30 and 36.

Method: The grapes were crushed into an open top fermenter and fermented using natural yeast on skins for 12 days, before pressing once dry. The wine was pressed to a combination of barriques, most of which were second use. After malolactic fermentation, sulfur was added and the wine was aged on its lees for 10 months before being racked off lees for a further eight-month maturation in barrel. The maturation on lees allowed for increased textural complexity on the palate.