The Story Rice’s Vineyard Shiraz 2008 (Grampians, Vic)
$40, Screwcap, 14.5%
What is most pleasing about this wine is that it is so different from its sibling, the Westgate Vineyard. Rice’s Vineyard is a warmer site near Stawell, and the more open fruit expression of this wine matches it nicely. Terroir in action.
This again pours deep and very red in the glass, looking rich, youthful and utterly shirazerrific. Interestingly, what wafts out of the glass is more Seppelt St Peters-ish than the Westgate, with much more ripe plum & fleshy red fruit, in a style that is more easily accessible than the Westgate but without that blueberry &licorice character.
The toasty oak flavours/aromas, which I found a little overt in the Westgate, seems to match the opulence of this wine more succinctly, making for a simply rich and cosseting palate of more open appeal. No need then for this to spend a night in the fridge coming together, though it’s definitely more overtly tannic than its brother. I found it just a bit too ripe when coming back to it later in the evening too.
Now please excuse me for a second, but to describe everything properly, I can’t help but get metaphorical, perhaps vainly, in an attempt to describe this wine and it’s Westgate sibling.
I’m picturing then these two wines as two clearly different brothers. Both born from the same stock, and raised very similarly, but both obviously different. The Westgate is older, wiser, more medium bodied, but with a more complex soul that takes more than a casual glance to really understand. In contrast, Rice’s Vineyard is the younger brother, but actually has a bigger physical presence. More power, more strength, but perhaps not the same sort of nuances in his personality. Rice’s is a good bloke and probably more popular with the ladies, but will probably get boring in a few years time, whilst the Westgate will be just getting started…
Putting aside any ridiculous metaphors then, in the end this wine, like the Westgate is simply a very good Grampians Shiraz. A wine that is full of personality, flavour and interest at an entirely reasonable price. 18.3