Old vines typically have lower yields, but the fruit has greater flavour concentration. Bush vines cannot be machine harvested so they must be hand picked, which means less damage to the fruit and less oxidation before it reaches the winery for vinification, so the resulting wine should retain more fresh fruit characters.
- Clarity: Clear
- Intensity: Medium (revised to Deep)
- Colour: Ruby with garnet rim
- Condition: Clean
- Intensity: Medium
- Development: Developing
- Sweetness: Dry
- Acidity: Medium+
- Tannin: Medium
- Alcohol: Medium+
- Body: Medium+
- Flavor Intensity: Medium+
- Finish: Medium+
- Quality: Very Good
- Readiness/Cellaring: Can drink now, but has potential for ageing
- Identity: Australia / Clare Valley / Grenache Shiraz blend
- Price: Mid-Priced ($24.99)
- 90 year old vines
- 15% alcohol by volume
- Long, fast legs/tears, ruby core with garnet tinge
- Aromas – Dark red fruits, cedar, oak, dark flowers, perfume
- Flavours – Dark red fruits, vanilla, cedar, spice
- Very smooth, velvety tannins
- Try with slow-cooked lamb, Osso Buco or steak
- Bought at $24.99
According the the notes provided by the winery the wine has spent considerable time in oak barrels, but they haven’t specified if this was old or new oak. New oak would impart more tannins into the wines (tannin is behind the mouth drying sensation in red wines). My hunch is they used older oak, using the vessels more for slow oxidation than adding flavours.
To me the tasting spoke for itself – despite its age there is still a lot of fresh, vibrant primary fruit character, with just hints of secondary characters (oak, vanilla, etc…) so it’s holding up very nicely. I’d be comfortable cellaring this wine for another 5-10 years, assuming ideal cellaring conditions.
Overall this was a very well balanced wine with a lot of depth and complexity. As you can see in the note nothing really stuck out on the Palate section, generally staying around the Medium+ range. It makes its’ presence felt without being bombastic, like a refined gentleman at a cocktail party.
Revision: in my note I indicated that the colour intensity was Medium, but I’d like to revise that to Deep – you can see how dark the core is in the image above, and you cannot read the writing on the note through the wine.