Text: Ivy Tsang
I have written another article about Chapoutier (see M. Chapoutier Ermitage de l'Oree Blanc 2008, not sure if it is released yet though). Shall not write the history again, otherwise it would be too boring (for us, XD)!
Something to bear in mind of this winery is that it is certified “biodynamic”. Most of its ranges are made under “biodynamie” and “organic”. Chapoutier has a wide range of wines, from entry level to premium lines, not just in Rhone, but also in Alsace, Portugal and Australia.
Chapoutier has the ambitious in expanding its horizons into the New World, specifically at Heathcote in Victoria, Australia. At first, Michel made wines together with the famous local wineries like Jasper Hill and Giaconda. In 2009, Chapoutier purchased the Shays Flat and Landsborough Valley estates in Pyrenees and so Domaine Tournon was born.
Wholly owned by Chapoutier, together with the expertise and great terroir given at Heathcote, the focus is, of course, on Shiraz. Heathcote, locating within the Central Victoria Zone, is famous for its soil which is 500 million-year-old Cambrian. With age, the decompressed greenstone has become red-brown. Together with the temperate climate, has make Heathcote one of Australia’s most exciting Shiraz.
Usually the Shiraz from Heathcote is relatively higher, around 14% to 15% abv. Nonethless, Chapoutier loves its wines to have the Rhone elegance and so tried to keep the abv lower. The nose of the wine Ladys Lane Shiraz is filled with attractive red fruits, with a hint of leather, toffee and sweet spices. On the palate, it is powerful yet having a delicate tannin structure, combining with a fine acidity.
Chapoutier, unsurprisingly, is skilled to evoke the minerality and elegance of the Northern Rhone Shiraz in its Australian wines, while retaining the terroir of Victoria!