Spinifex Esprit 2006 (Barossa, SA)
That’s James Halliday, gushing over Spinifex in his latest 2009 Wine Companion. Its this sort of sentiment that has catapulted Spinifex into the exclusive league of Barossan cult producers that includes the likes of Torbreck, Massena, Chris Ringland, Greenock Creek, Glaetzer, Rockford etc. What’s more, Spinifex has only been around since 2001, making the speed of their rise particularly significant and even more remarkable.
Thankfully, the Spinifex secret is built more upon complexity and interest than many other cult producers (like Torbreck) which definately strikes a chord with me. Most of the wines are modelled on Southern French ‘field blends’, utilising old vine Barossan Shiraz, Grenache, Mourvedre & Cinsault as well as the oddities of Grenache Gris & Ugni Blanc.
This wine is a blend of Mourvedre (34%), Grenache (31%), Shiraz (30%) & Cinsault (5%) and was made in a very traditional hands on manner – open fermenters, long macerations, wild yeast ferments etc. After a necessary hour in the decanter (it really needs it) this presents as bright ruby red/purple in colour, looking youthful indeed. The nose is tightly wound, with only some very ripe, almost syrupy red fruit escaping, along with some sweet chocolate oak – It smells luscious indeed. The palate is medium bodied, rich and slightly meaty, with integrated (plenty of older oak in here I’ll bet) oak and malted fruit.
Its juicy and very drinkable, yet it also feels and tastes quite mono dimensional, the liqueured red fruit flowing richly and smoothly like caramel throughout the palate, but also not presenting with anything to excite. Its quite delicious, but I’m ultimately left wanting more complexity (and its only going to get softer and rounder from here, not more complex). Perhaps this wine isn’t about complexity though, its just about good, generous drinking. 17.0