Bests Wines 2010 releases
In something of an innovation for Australian wine marketing, Bests have turned the release of this years 2009 Bin 1 Shiraz (and 2009 Great Western Cabernet + 2010 Great Western Riesling) into a social media event of impressive proportions. What this entailed was a giant ‘tweetup’ whereby 20+ prominent tweeters – mainly wine commentators, but also several food writers and social media celebrities – were sent a sample pack of the three new releases, all provided with the intention that everyone sat down at a certain day (today) and talked about them on twitter.
The tweetup itself is still going on tonight (you can follow it on twitter by searching for the #bestswines hashtag) but given the attention that the brand received, and the sheer volume of good publicity that the event generated, I’d call it a blinding success.
As one of said commentators (or such), I too delved into the new releases tonight and wrote down some hasty notes in the process (which are below). What is most interesting is to reread these notes and then compare them to some of the impressions in the tweet stream (here), as well as those from Julian and Jeremy, all of us offering differing opinions (which I really like).
The only other challenge with this tasting was how young all three wines were – movable beasts the lot of them, making a definitive assessment and score something of a challenge. I’ve erred on the positive side though.
Best’s Great Western Riesling 2010 $22
11.5%. 8g/l residual sugar
Interestingly enough Simon Clayfield (former Bests winemaker) believes this carries a little too much residual sugar. Initially I agreed with him, but with more time in the glass I think it’s just about right.
Lemon, citrus and chalk on the nose, in an open, lemon buttercup form – it’s fresh, lively and already open for business. The palate is soft, rounded and generous with nice soft lemony length. Sweetness is a smidgen obvious, sitting on top of the palate somewhat, though it makes for a very pure mouthful of soft wine love. As it sits longer in the glass, the lemon tang of the raw, youthful acidity pokes out more, rising up to match the sweetness like a rising tide, balancing the two halves. It’s not fully cohesive as yet, but I would happily drink this. I also think it’ll last (which is contrary to some others opinions). 17.5/91+
Bests Great Western Shiraz 2009 $25
A strong release for the label. It’s not my favourite wine of this trio but no doubting the quality and appeal.
This changed significantly over the space of half an hour – at first it was porty, minty and looked to be carrying some mixed ripeness, given the whiffs of stewed fruit and sap emanating in the glass. But in the glass it morphed into something more rounded, more lush and more Great Western-ish, as if it heard that we were saying bad things about it. Palate though is much more typical with a soft, spicy, plushly oaked palate shows oodles of rich purple fruit, backed up by that solid core of Grampians goodness (and proper fruit tannins). It’s just a little plump and diffuse for my tastes, but it’s right in the groove for Bin 1. 17/90
Bests Great Western Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 $25
Polarising. I noticed that more than one person (including the eminent Mr Walsh from Winefront) thought this looked a bit overtly peppery and skinny. I can definitely see that here, but it was the structure that I enjoyed.
Cabernet. That’s what the nose says, with it’s combo of mint, menthol, bark, meat, a clip of pepper and woody herbs. It’s a secondary and nicely cool climate nose. Polarising even. The joy is on the meaty, dry, long and well built palate, with excellent tannin grip and a solid core of sweet blackberry fruit to hang your hat on. The most cellarable of this lot, I think this will only gain weight (and interest) with bottle time. Should live and live too. 17.5/91+