Best’s Thomson Family Shiraz 2012 (Grampians, Vic)
14.5%, Screwcap, $200
It’s hard to think about this red without putting into the context of the dusty Best’s cellars and those wonderful old vines first planted by Henry Best back in 1867.
It’s one of Australia’s greatest vineyard treasures (planted to a wild fruit salad of obscure varieties), backed up by a cellar of treasured old Best’s Pinot Meuniers and ancient Great Western Shiraz – wines that, even at 15, 20, 30 years of age carry that unmistakeable plum essence richness and velvety softness. It’s a style that seems ageless and unwavering even after years of changing winemakers, winemaking equipment and winemaking fashions. An ageless wine that will, under screwcap, live for an age.
Fittingly, what makes this 2012 Thomson Family Shiraz right is how classically proportioned it is – deep and driven by that Grampians squishy purple fruit, yet actually quite medium bodied and almost feminine. That’s the kicker, for such finesse shouldn’t be mistaken for weakness. Rather, like great Hunter reds, this is actually carefully contained, the tannins ultra fine, the purity of fruit remarkable.
I drank this over four days and it wasn’t until the third day of being opened that this really showed some of its frilly bits, with a little warmth on the finish the only blemish that I could see.
Unequivocally a rich, ripe, full flavoured and fleshy Australian Shiraz but in the best possible form. Exceptional wine.
Tasted: April 2014
Score: 18.7/20, 95/100+
Would I buy it? In heartbeat. $200 is fair dollars, however…
Buy online: Best’s Wines