Six parcels from four different vineyards make up this wine. Having seen winemaker Wes Pearson at work, I know the lots were probably quite small, perhaps just a few hundred kilos each. The work’s in the number of parcels rather than their size, so a wine with this many components takes a fair bit of effort despite being made in tiny quantities. Still, it’s an approach I find interesting and one, as I noted in my review of the 2012 Shiraz, with considerable heritage in Australia.
Unlike the Shiraz, this opens with a range of savoury, borderline difficult notes. To be sure, there’s fruit too; I smell raspberries and plums. But the wine’s crack of undergrowth, licorice and sea spray speak of some seriously characterful fruit and it’s only with some fairly vigorous swirling that the wine finds, to my palate, its balance. Once settled, the aroma is charged with complexity, and expresses wisps of vanilla oak in counterpoint to dense, not-overly-sweet fruit and further savoury nuances. If the Shiraz is exuberant, this is sexier, slinkier and edgier too.
In the mouth, a wine of real line and length. It slips onto the tongue with a lick of dark spice and darker fruit. The mid-palate is quite taut, held in check by both acid and tannin that betray this wine’s youth, but nothing can disguise the power and density of the fruit here. I like the tannin structure more than I did in the Shiraz. It’s finer, more textured and more even. The after palate is full of dense black berries which continue right through to the back of the mouth. Length is a highlight.
Restraint isn’t a word typically associated with McLaren Vale Grenache, but this wine demonstrates how Grenache-dominant blends from this region can show ripeness and flavour while remaining savoury and well-structured. Again, delicious, and a considerable step up from the interesting 2011 edition.
Dodgy Brothers Wines