The 2019 vintage is the tenth release of this Heathcote Syrah, yet it is only the second produced at the Place of Changing Winds winery and, the first time it’s been bottled under this new label. It might have been Eben Sadie who once said that it takes around a decade to understand how to best grow the grapes and make the wine from a particular site or terroir—the POCW team’s experience with their Heathcote Syrah has shown the wisdom of these words. With this release, the eleventh vintage resting in cask and the twelfth fermenting away, they now have a genuine understanding of this place. The 2019s are certainly the most site-expressive wines they have produced from this vineyard so far.
As many will know, this story began as a collaboration with Crozes-Hermitage growers Alain and Maxime Graillot. For practical reasons, this vintage marks the last in which the Graillot clan had any direct involvement, yet Alain and Max remain great friends and allies (and they will continue to distribute these wines in mainland Europe via their distribution arm, À Bicyclette).
Both these wines come from the same single vineyard on the east-facing slopes of Colbinabbin in the northern Mount Camel Range subzone of Heathcote. The soils here are the famous ‘Cambrian soils’—red dirt made up of eroded basalt over limestone, shot through with greenstone and jasper. The wines were grown organically, without any chemical inputs, and with minimal irrigation. This site is not owned by Place of Changing Winds, but they work very closely with the grower, the plot is managed to their specifications, and they determine the harvest date.
2019 has given us the finest POCW Heathcote Syrah so far, the product of ten years of trials and plenty of viticultural and winemaking evolution. From this same vintage and the same vineyard, is also their first Marsanne. This is a journey that is just beginning. Please contact your representative if you would like to taste either of the wines.