Cape Jaffa La Lune Mount Benson Shiraz 2013
Despite being one of the more established Australian biodynamic wineries, Cape Jaffa don’t get much attention. Region must play a part of that given the isolation and limited profile of Mount Benson (I’d wager that most drinkers would never have heard of it, let alone realise it could be a premium cool climate region).
Still this beautiful part of the world (lovely beaches nearby) has the clear potential for great wines, with terroir that is seriously top shelf – think Coonawarra, complete with the red dirt and limestone, but with an even stronger maritime influence (and challenges with frost)
This La Lune is the top of the Cape Jaffa quality tree and was produced from certified biodynamic grapes thatare handpicked and enjoys plenty of time on skins before two years in barrel. From a warm season, this is an inky wine for Mount Benson, the nose showing plenty of blackberry jam ripe fruit, yet stirred in with spice and ham in a nod to cool clime Shiraz if in a warm vintage. There’s no Viognier listed, but that colour and the hint of tropical fruit suggests otherwise. Not a bad thing here. Underneath there is a blackness to the palate and dry edge to the tannins that points towards notably ripe grapes, lifted by oak sweetness and a nice mid weight pepper and meaty core, but just struggling above the warmth of the 14.5% alcohol finish…
All up this is a wine of promise. That nose is just a little boisterous and ripe, yet the cooler, spicy elements suggest something much more restrained. With decent tannins and a long palate there is clearly quality here, even if it feels a just a little broadly ripe and simple. More funk, early picking and it will do the fabulous, unbleached cotton twill label even more justice. Bottle number 850 of 3996. Best drinking: 2018-2028. 17.8/20, 92/100. 14.5%, $60. Would I buy it? A glass would do.
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