As a winemaker, surely there is no better way to celebrate twenty years in wine than to make the most groundbreaking wine of your career?
That’s certainly what Gundog Estate guru Matt Burton has done with this new M Burton Shiraz 1, which is one of the most intriguing releases of 2021. Sealed under cork (which Burton hasn’t used in 15 years) and with just 600 bottles produced, this is one rare beast. Rare, and uniquely crafted. It’s a multi-vintage Canberra Shiraz, drawn from both the 2018 and 2019 vintages, that showcases the whole kitchen sink of winemaking techniques across four different parcels.Here’s the rundown: 45% of the blend is 2018 Shiraz and spent a mammoth spent 450 days on skins, 35% is 2019 Shiraz that spent 365 days on skins, 10% is 2019 Shiraz that spent a more standard time on skins,10% is 2019 Shiraz that included some whole bunches.
All of that complexity, and the supporting oak treatment, helps delivers an unusual wine. I’m glad that I looked at it over two days as this behemoth looked surprisingly oaky (although the oak is largely older) and a bit warm and monotonal at first. What hooked me in was the polished, and ultimately detailed tannins that really hook you in late. There’s this lovely expanse of flavour through the mid-palate too, and it all adds up to this whole mountain of molten, enveloping richness that can seem all too much. I’m glad I came back for a longer look on day two, as this takes time to unfurl. Fascinating, and rather challenging wine.