In a nutshell: A vibrant and silky Australian Shiraz from Heathcote, Victoria.
The lowdown: The grapes for Damian North's Heathcote Shiraz are grown at Chalmers vineyard in Colbinabbin, northern Victoria. Here a mix of destemmed and whole bunches are put in open fermenters prior to being pressed and transferred to French oak barriques before being bottled unfined after 15 months. The resulting wine has plummy and mulberry aromas with a distinct white pepper edge while on the palate it is fresh, soft and juicy with flavours of plums, liquorice and blackberry that lead into a long silky finish. It's a very rewarding wine that reflects the care and attention made in its production.
When to drink: Being at the more elegant and delicate end of the Shiraz spectrum this is one that'll suit things like grouse, pheasant and other feathered game.
Damian North, whose introduction to the world of wine was as a sommelier in Sydney, is the owner of Journey Wines. He considers that his wines are not only a reflection of the unque vineyard sites used, but his journey as a winemaker leading up to this.
He first studied at Chales Sturt University before moving to TarraWarra estate in the Yarra Valley. From there stint in Oregon and Western Australia's Margaret River followed before he he was able to realise his long held aim of having his own wine label.
Fruit for his exceptional wines are sourced from a selection of outstanding vineyards in the Yarra Valley and Heathcote and the wines are made at the Medhurst winery in the Yarra.