Wirra Wirra ‘The Absconder’ Grenache 2012 (McLaren Vale, SA)
14.5%, Screwcap, $70
Expectations are always high for a $70 Grenache, and this is seriously good. ‘Why don’t we plant more Grenache’ good. Sexy packaging on this new crop of Wirra super-premiums too – the bottles look like a phallic shiny glass bullet.
Produced off 95 year old vines, what makes this special is just how utterly Grenache-y it is. Purple-red in colour, the nose smells of plum Roll-Ups, red licorice, black pepper and dark earth, at once bright and clean yet also with a wallop of Grenache meatiness. The palate follows with a contained, yet utterly ripe and intensely juicy palate. No oak to be seen (barrels are 6 years plus), the acid is just a little snappy on the back end (TA 6.1), but the finish is long, with that concentrated brambly licorice character that you only ever see in really old vine Grenache (and I love).
Mid-weight, yet not lacking intensity, this is utterly triumphant Grenache in the near perfectly balanced McLaren Vale Burgundy mode. Watch critics swoon over this.
Score: 18.7/20, 95/100
Would I buy it? I’d buy this over plenty of southern Rhone reds twice the price. In other words – a big yes.
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