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What began as a yearly diversion for label designer Aaron Woods and marketer Nicholas Crampton has grown into almost a full time obsession, with a range of wines from the Barossa and Eden Valley spanning five varieties and numerous styles. The ambition of Woods Crampton is to create unforced wines that showcase the quality of their fruit and tell the story of their vineyards. Minimal intervention winemaking follows to create elegant and expressive wines.

Made using Burgundian techniques and a “hands-off” philosophy. The fruit is hand-picked, given an overnight chill before a cold-soak for seven days at seven degrees. The fruit is primarily de-stemmed and allowed to reach ambient temperature before transferred to two-tonne fermenters with 25% whole bunches laid across the bottom.   A very slow, cool ferment with the cap held down and hand plunging twice daily. At two grams the ferment was pressed in a very old, very gentle pneumatic press to a settling tank to finish fermentation.   The fruit was racked to medium and large format french oak, about 50% new, and topped every six weeks but not racked or stirred for 18 months. The wine was not fined, given a coarse filtration and a dash of sulphur before bottling. 

Deep, dark and restrained – displaying a “cool climate” profile and whole bunch aromatics. The palate is distinguished by length and finesse,  a tightly wound core of supple dark berries, exotic spice and ripe plums flows to a lifted and precisely detailed finish  defined by fine silky tannins. Effortless and beautifully balanced this wine will unveil its true character over the next twenty years if carefully cellared. 

Voluptuous and complex at once. Full of fruit and yet it’s like stepping into a herb garden. Florals, nuts, fresh garden herbs, twigs, aged meats. You name it, it’s here. And yet that sweet flow of fleshy, boysenberried, plum-rich fruit remains the main driver. There’s even a bit of tang to the finish too. It’s a beautiful shiraz. Gorgeous in every respect. Tasted: Sept 2016; Alcohol: 14%; Price: $50; Closure: Screwcap; Drink: 2016-2028+; Rating: 94 Points; Campbell Mattinson - The Wine Front


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