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Richard Hamilton ‘Centurion’ Old Vine Shiraz


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A true Icon, The Centurion takes its name from of one of Australia’s and indeed the World’s oldest surviving vineyards, planted in 1892 by brothers Walter and Clement Philipson. Changing hands to Thomas Wigley in 1893, acquired by Burton Wyndam Hamilton in 1947 and passed to Dr Richard Hamilton.

A classy Shiraz showing aromatics and spicy perfumed lifted enhanced through beautifully integrated French oak which provides a subtle cedar background to the cherry plum fruits. Generous and flavoursome, the palate has silky tannins and lovely persistence. The structure retains the hallmark elegant seamlessness of this pedigree Shiraz. Perfectly balanced. Designed to mature and develop to give many years of drinking pleasure, 10 years at least.

Alcohol by Vol.:
Alcohol: 14.5%
Bottle size:
Beautifully integrated with the finest French oak, this elegant yet rich Shiraz has perfumed fruit showing plum and cherry nuances with hints of cloves and nutmeg.
Ripe, long, fine, silky tannins provide a wonderfully elegant structure to this Shiraz. Its persistence of flavour finishes clean and tight.
This wine is designed to mature and develop to give many years of drinking pleasure. 10 years at least.
Each year we strive to gain even a little more perfection to making this wine. While the essential element in the making of Centurion is the critical quality selection of the fruit from the 1892 plantings, we augment the style using several techniques. All ferments are small scale – we purchased a third vat to allow most of the components to be fermented in oak. Some even smaller ferments are hand plunged with some whole bunches to build structure and aromatics. Ultimately, maturation was in a combination of hogsheads and vats with several workings and swapping of vessels to promote longevity of the wine and enhance the palate length. On final blending in May, the wine was made ready for bottling in June.
Planted in 1892, the vineyard is amongst the oldest in the region, indeed in Australia. Situated at the back of the Old Hut Block, the gnarly Shiraz vines are grown in grey loams over old river clay with underlying limestone. The combination of site and old vines produces a lovely elegant yet powerful style of wine. The vineyard is hand pruned and harvested. The climate is moderate and tempered by the cool sea breezes from the Gulf of St. Vincent some 8 kilometres away.
Vintage Conditions:
2020 can be summarised as being warmer and drier than average with our vineyards receiving about 60% of the rainfall over winter to the end of harvest compared with what would be expected on average. Despite that, the vines initially formed a lot of bunches, only for cropping levels to be naturally reduced due to very windy conditions at flowering in late November which decreased bunches and diminished fruit set. Final yields were 20% less than average. Harvest was a little later than expected despite above average temperatures during October, and December to February. The first three weeks of February were trending cooler but a very warm period from the last week of February to early March finished veraison in reds and initiated rapid ripening leading to a hectic fortnight to complete harvest. Quality is very good but quantity is down in all varieties with wines showing attractive fruit elegance and ripe tannins.

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