Pyren Vineyard new releases
After documenting just 3 Pyrenees producers here, I’m happy to be following that up with a look at a few more new releases from this (unfairly) forgotten wine region.
The two reds below come from the Pyren vineyard, two blocks (75 acres in total) of Shiraz, Cab Sauv, Cab Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot situated on the northern slope of the Warrrenmang valley. Apparently the viticulture at Pyren is first rate, as witnessed by Cabernet that is fully ripe at 12.5% alcohol.
Pyren Vineyard Broken Quartz Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 (Pyrenees, Vic)
$17, Screwcap, 12.5%
Direct from Pyren this is just $180 a dozen ($15 a bottle) which is just great value drinking. It’s wines like this – fully ripe and delicious at low alcohols – that reinforce just how suitable Cabernet Sauvignon (and blends thereof) are to the Pyrenees (or at least I think so).
An interesting wine too, as it belies said alcohol modesty with a whole fruit bowl of bright grapey fruit lusciousness. It’s all about purple berries – mulberry, blueberry et al, topped off with Pyrenees mint. It’s not especially varietal on the nose, but it is surprisingly pretty. Palate is mid weight, rounded, and full of boysenberry fruit essence flavours, though in a sort of savoury and restrained framework (helped by the absence of heat too). Tails off through the fnish, but there is light tannin in there too.
For the price this is simply great – a modest wine in price, alcohol and structure, but full of vibrant drinking appeal. 16.7/89
Pyren Vineyard Block E Shiraz 2008 (Pyrenees, Vic)
$29, Screwcap, 14.5%
From a challenging Pyrenees vintage which shows here with a sort of warm, juicy shapelessness. Should be an impressive drop in a better year though.
What this does show is that same purple fruit of the Cabernet – hello vineyard character! Purple colour too. There is more immediate ripeness here, exhibiting as volatility on the nose, with everything framed thicker and richer. It smells too of ripeness, of liqueur cherries, pepper and some quite pretty mulberry fruit. The palate follows this up with gritty chocolate oak and vibrant purple fruit sweetness. There is a skinny streak through the mid palate, a lightly stressed fruit character, but it’s fleeting. Grainy oak tannins and warmth to finish.
Attractive enough, I can see the appeal of the luscious, almost Grampians-esque plum fruit here. I just want for a little more structure and line myself. 17.2/90