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Broke'n Man Shiraz - When All The Cards Are Against You.

looking out on the hunter valley with a bottle of wine
Broke'n Man Shiraz

The Broke'n Man name comes from the grape growing area of The Hunter Valley just a few minutes down the road. The year we produced Broke'n Man was what some might describe as "difficult" being at the top of a hill we were lucky to avoid much of the flooding that impacted so many properties just around harvesting time. It is during harvest that the grapes are actually at their most delicate. Harvest requires particular conditions and to be done when the grapes are at a particular sugar level. If you miss this small window you end up with a low quality end product or if the moisture is too high you can end up with mildew on the crop... and that is not going to create the sort of fermentation we are looking for!

Unfortunately for us most of our crop was lost to bad weather, so we sought grapes from a friend to ensure we'd have a vintage to sell, he wasn't looking to produce his own vintage this year and because of the bad weather we didn't have much of a harvest ourselves. We weren't the only ones struggling with the weather... the general mood in wine country was on a downward slope. So now that we were lucky enough to have

secured grapes to produce our wine it was time to harvest our friend's small crop! When it all looked great during the harvest of these grapes disaster struck again! Due to the amount of rain that had occurred over the preceding weeks, the harvester sank in the middle of the vine row and they had to cut out over 100 vines to get the harvester out.

Lovedale Hunter Valley Cellar Door on a dirt road
The Cellar Door Veranda

At this point not only were we broken, our friends and neighbours were broken... everything was pointing to the fact that we were just not meant to produce a Shiraz this year. with our small crop and dampened bodies and spirits we took the harvest and started to produce t

he wine that would eventually be known as the 'Broke'n Man'. Despite all of the elements working against us we were amazed as we started to run our tests and look at the crop... this... despite everything working against us... was going to be a good quality wine! as it matured and developed the wine that emerged was just that. A really top quality, small quantity red wine.

grapes and vine rows in the hunter valley
Grapes grown in our family run Vineyard

We like to refer to this wine as Dirty, Dusty & Dangerous. This expression is really rich and deep maroon in colour, the grapes come from up in Broke that we acquired from a friend who’s grapes are grown exclusively on volcanic clay giving the wine an exceptionally earthy flavour. The aroma is deep intense plums and blackberries that is accentuated by earthy dusty notes not like the classic ‘mushroom’ description but instead minerals and you can really taste the clay. Like our Shiraz Cabernet we age the Broke'n Man in a mixture of French Oak and American Oak Barrels which brings out the robust and brash nature of the grape. Has peppery and leather undertones that are subtle now but beginning to develop. Another 4-5 years will have to pass before we can tell if this is truly the impeccable vintage that we

think it is as a young wine... but all indications are that it will develop in to a truly great Hunter Valley Shiraz.


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