For once, you can judge this Longview The Piece Shiraz 2016 by its label.
Here’s a wine that cohesively matches up concept, packaging and product. I love it.
The starting point for this Longview Vineyard Shiraz is art, not wine. For eight years now, Longview have held an annual graffiti art exhibition as part of the Adelaide Hills Crush Festival. More recently, they’ve turned this exhibition into a competition, with the winning artwork celebrated on a wine label.
In 2018, tattooist and artist Morris Green’s aerosol picture of a native blue fairy wren won the title, and is duly celebrated on the front of this new The Piece Shiraz.
The bottle also comes in a perfectly built spray can tin to complete the look.
Fittingly, the juice inside is special too. From a selection of rows within the Longview Vineyard, it’s what the Saturno family call ‘the best Shiraz we can make’. Handpicked, with 15% whole bunches, the wine spends 18 months in oak, the final blend a selection of best barrels.
I’ve been critical of the ripeness on some of the Longview reds before, but this red balances out black fruit density with a sense of restraint. It’s luscious, coiffed, polished and smooth, the initial attack suggesting a big wine (like many ’16 Hills reds), but the evenness of the palate just means a rolling ride of deep dark fruit. It’s less Adelaide Hills fragrance and more I Can’t Believe It’s Not McLaren Vale, oak-enriched flavour, but the delivery and the drinkability of this full-yet-not red is something to be admired.
Well done all round. Best drinking: Now and fifteen years plus. 18.5/20, 94/100. 14.5%, $90. Would I buy it? The perfect gift bottle, and I’ll help you drink it.