Archive for the ‘Heathcote’ category

Jasper Hill Georgia’s Paddock 2005

June 11, 2007

img_2924.jpgSince I began working in the wine-industry as a professional I have access to a lot of wine at pretty smart prices. I also started to drink aged wines more regularly and so the idea of putting together my own modest cellar was quickly born. Far from being a serious collecter with the hope to make money out of cellaring wine I began to buy collectable australian wines along the line of Langton’s Classification of Australian Wine. Useful information on wines, regions and vintages is provided which makes this site a handy buying-tool. But isn’t the classification nothing more or less than just a reflection of current market sentiment influenced by track record, reputation, consistency, demand and price? The answer is yes because when the preferences of consumers, collectors and investors change so does the classification. When comparing the four classifications that are released since 1991 it catches the eye that the number of wines has gradually increased from 34 to 101 and that there is a shift from multi-regional to regional and single-vineyard wines. Overall it could be said that the classification has become more diverse and this diversity is exactly what should be kept in mind when buying wines for a cellar. But if one has a good look at this ‘unofficial honour roll’ of Australian fine wine it is not hard to find out that out of the 101 wines in the classification 86 wines are red and only 13 white. From those 86 reds 78 wines – more than 75% of the total – are Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and blends of both varieties from all major Australian wine-growing regions although South Australian Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon hold absolute sway. To put it shortly, when the classification is used as the only buying tool your cellar – as I did for almost half a year – you might end up with too many wines of the same style and varieties while a lot of these wines also demand quite some time in the cellar before they show their true potential. To avoid falling into the same trap I can recommend to buy wines that make your cellar more balanced. Apart from your favourite ones consider cellaring wines and varieties that fall outside your normal drinking pattern, whites with good cellaring potential or wines from other countries than Australia. Most important is to cellar wines you find interesting to drink apart from wines that represent good value on the secondary wine market.

Anyway, I found myself in the situation that I wanted to open some of the bottles I had gathered over the last year. Apart from some wines I wouldn’t consider buying anymore I also drank some really interesting ones. The Bindi Pinot Noirs and older Grosset Rieslings where undoubtedly the winners while only a few of the Shiraz really stood out. Luckily the 2005 Jasper Hill Georgia’s Paddock was one of them. What fascinates me about the wines from this Heathcote pioneer is the fact that the grapes all come from dry- and biodynamically grown vines, something that has not been easy in this by drought affected region. Over the past vintages the alcohol-levels in the Emily’s and Georgia’s were getting dangerously high although it can be said that the balance in the wines never really got lost. Having to pick grapes at optimal physiological ripeness in difficult conditions faced is something different than deliberately pursuing blockbuster-style wines and due to the strict adherance to the viticultural philosophy the wines never lost or will lose my support. I was delighted to see though that with only 13.5%  ABV the 2005 Georgia’s Paddock Shiraz is back to normal resulting in a more balanced and elegant wine. The nose shows the typically strong earthy and sweet red berry aromas. The palate has a sweet, dense and round texture upfront beautifully balanced by a lot of refreshing acid and spice towards the back. This wine is all about combined power, finesse and complexity with the latter developing even more over the next decade so don’t drink this wine too young. 93 points.

Source: Liquid Library  Price: $85  Drink: 2010-2017

Web: www.jasperhill.com

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Bindi Bundaleer Shiraz 2002

June 5, 2007

img_2925.jpgI’ve tasted quite a lot of Shiraz from Heathcote recently and I was struck by the amount of super-concentrated and over-alcoholic wines that show sweet, plump and porty characters rather than finesse. Bindi’s Bundaleer Shiraz – named Pyrette nowadays – seems to come from a different planet when compared to most of these blockbusters. The fruit for the Bundaleer is sourced from the cooler northern part of the region and is picked very early, resulting in a medium to full-bodied wine at the elegant side of the spectrum and considerably lower in alcohol. The nose reveals fragrant raspberry, cherry and spicy flavours and the palate shows a wine that is intense, pure, delicate and beautifully balanced. This is a wine that can measure itself with the better Syrahs from France’s northern Rhône. 92 points.

Source: Swanbourne cellars  Price: $45  Drink: Now-2012