2014 Scarce Earth release
Background info in italics. Notes as written on the day. Tasted without background info.
18 Sand Road, McLaren Vale. Alluvial clay of Valleys. 6 hectares planted in 1998. 30.4m elevation. Harvest date 14th March. $39.
Shingleback Unedited Shiraz 2012
377 Little Road, Whites Valley. Ngaltinga Formation/Christies Beach Formation. 3.6 hectares planted in 1999. 55m elevation. Harvest date 5th March. $70.
Deep and savoury and much more chewy. Less about obvious red fruit and much more grunty black fruit. Compact but very high quality. I like this greatly. 18.3/20, 93/100
Haselgrove The Ambassador Single Vineyard Shiraz 2012
187 Sand Road, Mclaren Vale. Pirramimma Sandstone. 5 hectares planted in 1972. 75m elevation. Harvest date 29th February. $85.
Pretty and very modern – a very flashy and quite substantial wine in a trophy leaning mode. Lots of energy here if much more alcohol. Almost porty in its glycerol sweetness. Just a little warm to be sublime. 17.5/20, 91/100
Hugh Hamilton Black Blood 1 Shiraz 2012
Main Road, Willunga. Christies Beach Formation. 2 hectares planted in 1987. 90m elevation. Harvest date 29th February. $45. I noted the new oak in the 2010 too, even though it had bugger all!
Osborn Road, McLaren vale. Blanche Point Formation. 3 hectares planted in 1968. 97m elevation. Harvest date 28th February. $99. When unveiled it was unsurprising to see this as a d’Arenberg.
Blue black fruit and even some choc mint. A very classic McLaren Vale nose – red berry and plum. Fine tannins, a composed and very pretty palate. This feels very classical and full of energy. A little oak tannins can’t detract – absolutely delicious. 18.5/20, 94/100
Gafney Road, McLaren vale. Christies Beach Formation. 1 hectare planted in 1920. 150m elevation. Harvest date 22nd February. $55.
Sweet fudgey fruit – choc raspberry slice. Thick though and the red choc ricness is saved by a quite dense and licoricey palate. Maybe a bit sweet fruited and warm but genuinely attractive. 18/20, 93/100
Gemtree Stage 7 Shiraz 2012
Anise and mint – a very different beast. Grainy tannins too. Lots of mint and without quite the generosity of the wines around it. Quite sleek though. An interesting inclusion – way too minty for mine. 17/20, 90/100
Chapel Hill The Chosen Block House Block Shiraz 2012
Quite unconventional and attractive boysenberry with some animal hide. A really quite complex wine in this lineup – great length too. Maybe a little divisive but delicious. 18.7/20, 95/100
Shottesbrooke Blewitt Springs Single Vineyard Shiraz 2012
Schuller Road, Blewitt Springs. North Maslin & South Maslin Sands. 2 hectares planted in 2000. 195m elevation. Harvest date 14th March. $45. Black pepper and black olive – a fragrant and quite pretty wine. Delicate and lots of spice. Seriously chewy and pooey. A little unusual in that pooeyness. I like the fragrance but gee its an unusual wine. Lovely structure though, which drags me over the line. 17.7/20, 92/100
Wirra Wirra Whaite Block Shiraz 2012
Schuller Road, Blewitt Springs. North Maslin & South Maslin Sands. 1 hectare planted in 1975. 200m elevation. Harvest date 13th March. $130. Intriguing to see this after the wine before. After unveiling it became obvious why they looked so similar yet also different – much more contained here!
Kangarilla Road Alluvial Fans Shiraz 2012
44 Hamilton Road, McLaren Flat. Alluvial clay of Valleys. 2 hectares planted in 1998. 208m elevation. Harvest date 15th March. $45.
3 Idle Lane, Kangarilla. North Maslin & South Maslin Sands. 2 hectares planted in 1999. 260m elevation. Harvest date 14th March. $50. Little wonder that this looked Adelaide Hills-esque – this vineyard is up in one of the cooler parts of the Vale.
The most seriously hammy, Adelaide Hills-esque style of the lot. Chewy and dry. Cornas like! Feels very unconventional. It needs 12 months to settle but certainly high quality and serious intriguing. I’d drink this in a heartbeat – complexity abounds. 18.5/20, 94/100