Ben Kurtz planted his original vineyard in the hamlet of Light Pass in the 1930s. In 1957 his son Otto took over working the vineyard, and its vines are still in production today. As the eldest son of Otto, John Kurtz went off and found his own land to continue his family’s tradition of grape growing. In 1961, together with his wife Erril, John purchased a 16 hectare property, also at Light Pass, in the heart of the Barossa.
On 20th July 1969 mankind took its ‘one giant leap’ and 650 million people watched as Neil Armstrong walked on the Moon. On the same day, John and Erril purchased an additional block that adjoined their vineyard on Stockwell Road. In honour of the moon landing, Erril named it ‘Lunar Block’ and to this day it still proudly bears the name. Replanted to Shiraz later that year, the Lunar Block vines now represent the oldest on the property.
The son of John and Erril, current custodian Steve Kurtz established Kurtz Family Vineyards in 1997, producing the first vintage of the flagship Lunar Block Shiraz in 1999.
Vineyard: Sourced entirely from the original 1969 Lunar Block Shiraz plantings. The block’s unique microclimate boasts a mix of ironstone, limestone and orange-red clay soils on a gently sloping, north-west facing hillside. Evening gully breezes provide a cooling effect during summer, allowing the distinctive fruit flavours to fully develop without overripening. Low cropping and minimal irrigation create perfect vine balance, ensuring excellent colour, structure, and concentrated varietal character.
Vintage: Vine growth was slow yet healthy, after a long, wet winter. Spring and early summer were cool, and post-veraison temperatures were moderate, with short bursts of heat and well-timed rain. An Indian summer with cool late-March nights allowed consistent ripening.
Winemaking: Fermented in small, open fermenters and gently hand plunged to optimise colour, flavour and tannin extraction. Matured in new French oak hogsheads for 36 months.
Acidity: 6.2 g/L
Colour: Inky dark red with purple hues.
Nose: Black cherry, blackberry and blackcurrant dominate the nose, with hints of dark chocolate, espresso, nutmeg and fennel seed. A delicate sage lift and fine, smoky oak add further layers of complexity.
Palate: Full bodied and richly textured, with concentrated, dark fruit. Plush, complex flavours of black cherry, blackberry and bittersweet chocolate continue through the palate. Balanced with fresh acidity and fine, long, chalky tannins, the palate has a defrined structural line, with a smooth, silky mouthfeel and great length of flavour.
Peak Drinking: Cellaring potential to 2035. I highly recommend that this wine be decanted prior to serving.
Food Match: Lunar Block Shiraz is a great match with grilled, pan-fried or roasted meats, and other full flavoured dishes.
DOWNLOAD TASTING NOTE PDF2017 Lunar Block Shiraz