“Hail 2010”, Peter Gago was quoted as saying at the release of the 2010 Penfolds Grange. The 2010 Penfolds wines were highly praised for their profound depth of colour and vibrancy with James Halliday awarding the 2010 vintage 99/100 points and claiming it will go down in the pantheons of greatest Grange vintages. In about 2 weeks Penfolds will release the 2011 Grange for the princely sum of $785, the same price as the 2010 release. Ask anyone in the Barossa about 2010 and they’ll smile and talk for hours. Ask them about the 2011 vintage and most will mumble a curt reply and try and change the subject. It was not a great year by any means, with James Halliday rating it only a 5/10. Anyone that knows Rob’s history is aware that he developed his winemaking career with Penfolds, but may not be aware that he worked alongside former Grange winemakers Don Ditter and John Duval and played an integral role in vineyard selection for the wine. Now, you may be wondering why I am waxing lyrical about Penfolds and Grange, well there is a very good reason for that, if you’ll bear with me.
At the same time as Penfolds release their flagship wine from a lesser vintage Gibson Wines are releasing two 2010 Shiraz! The 2010 Australian Old Vine Barossa Valley and Eden Valley Shiraz’ are prime examples of everything that was great about the 2010 vintage.
The 2010 vintage was not smooth all smooth sailing however. It started well with the best rainfall in five years and a relatively mild and warm spring. However, in November there was a nine day heat wave peaking at 41.5C. In March there was an onset of cooler nights which allowed for slower ripening. In the Barossa Valley, Shiraz showed strongly with dense colours, personality and true varietal expression. Whilst in the higher Eden Valley the reds were equally as gorgeous, showing real finesse.
Rob takes great care and pride in protecting and sourcing fruit from Ancestor vines in both Eden and Barossa Valley. These ancient vines produce wines of ethereal quality with great depth and texture. It is a rare privilege to be able to release aged wines and in the modern wine industry a very rare occurrence.
Making/Maturation: Small lot (0.5 – 1tonne) open fermentation with daily plunging or rack & return. Maturation was 30 months in 70% French oak barrels (70% new).
Tasting Note: Opaque purple hue. Lifted sweet spiced Shiraz fruit characters on the nose with interesting notes of mocha, herb and blackcurrants. The palate is rich, round and very complex and shows all the hall-marks of great Shiraz treated with good oak maturation to produce a great wine with good aging potential. It shows ample aroma, fruit balanced with perfect acidity and assuring dry tannins for aging potential. The finish is long and generous, leaving spicy dark chocolate flavours lingering on the palate.2010 Australian Old Vine Eden Valley Shiraz
Making/Maturation: Small lot (0.5-1tonne) open fermentation with daily plunging or rack & return. Maturation was 30 months in 70% French oak barrels (70% new).
Tasting Note: Opaque dense purple hue. Heady Aromas of Black currant and vanilla lead to a gentle sumptuous velvet textured palate. The palate is lively, bright & powerful with charming fruit sweetness which finishes beautifully dry with lingering vinosity.