|Old Block. Needs to be older|
St Hallett Old Block 2009 (Barossa, SA)
14.4%, Screwcap, $85
It’s always a ‘slow-burner’ is the Old Block, built in a style that screams ‘don’t drink me now you fool’. In fact, I think that the more recent Old Blocks have looked even more moderate, more structured and more cellar-worthy than ever. More power to them I say and Mr Old Block you can gladly come and sleep in my cellar anyday.
Speaking of old, the driver of this wine is fruit from vines designated as ‘old’ under the terms of the Barossa Old Vine Charter. In other words, we’re talking about grapes grown on vines that are a minimum of 35 years old with some right up to 100+ yrs old.
Interestingly, the proportion of Eden Valley fruit in Old Block has increased over the years too, with 40% of this wine drawn from them there hills. No wonder the wines look more moderate these days…
Anyways, this certainly carries that old vine mystique and density, if edged with slightly candied red fruit. It’s a tension actually, a sense that the fruit hasn’t quite grown into its body yet. The oak sits on top a fraction too and, whilst high quality, looks to be quite heavily toasted. What has you coming back though is that length, the firm, sucking-on-a-cacao-bean dry end and pervading length that indicates that this wine has very strong bones indeed.
Buy some (on special of course) and stick it in your cellar.