Awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their November 2018 article on Australia's Adelaide Hills (see blue link below).
Shaw + Smith Shiraz 2015 - Nov 2018 Decanter review
Established in 1989 by Martin Shaw and Michael Hill Smith MW, Shaw + Smith's aim is to make contemporary, high quality wines that stand among the best of their type in Australia. The wines are made exclusively from fruit grown in the Adelaide Hills, one of Australia's coolest and most exciting regions. Shaw + Smith specialise in grape varieties suited to cooler climates, such as Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, and also make fantastic wines from Shiraz and Pinot Noir.
The fruit was sourced from vineyards in the warmer, drier parts of the Adelaide Hills, notably Macclesfield and from low yielding vineyards in Balhannah, near the Shaw and Smith winery. Soils here are shallow red/brown loam over schist and clay. The vines are planted at a density of 2,700 - 5,500 vines per hectare and are hand pruned with vertical shoot positioned canopies. Low yields of two kilos per vine were achieved by aggressive pruning and pre-harvest bunch thinning.
2015 was a remarkable vintage. Above average winter rainfall ensured a good start to the growing season, while warm weather in late December/early January was moderated by useful rain on the 13th of January. The season concluded with mild, steady conditions and delivered fruit of wonderful quality to the winery.
The grapes were hand picked and fermented as a combination of whole berries and whole bunches in open fermenters, with gentle plunging and minimal working. The wine was aged in French oak for fourteen months, of which one third was new.
The 2015 vintage is true to style with particular opulence and generosity: a reflection of an excellent warm yet even season. It is a medium bodied wine with vibrant fruit and spice.