La Pleiade: Heathcote, Australia
A chance meeting in the mid nineties was the start of a partnership between two influential winemaking families of modern times—The Laughtons and the Chapoutiers. A common belief in biodynamic farming and its expression of “true terroir” led to the forming of a common vision—to create wines that were from opposing sides of the world, old and new world, that were joined in the philosophy of their creation—as true expressions of their terroir.
La Pleiade Heathcote Shiraz This dynamic partnership also yielded a Shiraz vineyard in Central Victoria’s Heathcote region, the home of Jasper Hill. Planted in the spring of 1998, this tiny vineyard was established on virgin red Cambrian soils and planted with both Australian Shiraz clones, selected by Ron, and French Syrah clones, imported by Michel. The label depicts ‘La Pleiade’ (The Pleiades, Seven Sisters), a small, wispy star cluster in the constellation of Taurus that can be viewed by the naked eye from both partners home vineyards in Tain l’Hermitage and Heathcote.
2010 La Pleiade Shiraz— (100% Shiraz) The grapes are hand harvested, gently destemmed and then fermented in concrete vats with indigenous yeasts for six weeks. The wine is very lightly pressed and aged for 14 months in French oak casks. “Deep garnet‐purple, Cluster M45’s 2010 Shiraz presents intense blueberry, blackberry and baking spice aromas over notes of mocha, tree bark and black pepper. Full‐bodied, rich and densely packed in the mouth, the generous flesh is well‐supported by balanced, medium to high acidity and a medium level of velvety tannins, finishing long. It’s tempting to drink now though it should drink best 2014‐2024+..” 95 pts Robert Parker—The Wine Advocate #189 June 2012
2012 La Pleiade Shiraz – (100% Shiraz) The grapes are hand harvested, gently destemmed and then fermented in concrete vats with indigenous yeasts for six weeks. The wine is very lightly pressed and aged for 14 months in French oak casks. “Medium to deep garnet, the 2012 Cluster M45 Shiraz presents lovely red and black cherry notes, black raspberries and kirsch with hints of menthol, aniseed, pepper and lavender. Medium-bodied, elegant and showing very fine tannins, it has just enough acid to lift the rich fruit and a good long finish. It should age very well. Note that no 2011 Cluster M45 was produced. 2017-2032.” 95+ erobertparker.com February 2015