This label seems to have gathered quite a following over its short life. I count myself amongst its fans. Ever since Gary Walsh created a stir with his review on Winorama, I’ve been particularly excited to taste the 2007 vintage.
The most lovely purple-red hue, deep and moderately dense. To smell, it’s very “4 Acres” but in an altogether deeper register. The characteristically pretty red and blue fruit is there yet, compared to previous vintages, it demonstrates greater, quite extraordinary extension into the bass octaves. With only minimal swirling, an array of other aromas; earth, minerals, purple flowers, the slightest hint of gum leaf; emerge to create significant complexity. There’s also a slightly funky, barnyard dimension that strikes me as essentially regional, though very much secondary. I’ve been smelling this for a good half hour now and remain fascinated by each twist and turn the wine takes.
To the palate, then. So much goes on here, and it’s so attractive, I find it hard to respond analytically. But I’ll try. First, the acid. Structurally, this wine is driven by acid rather than tannin, so the acid’s quality is both critical and highly exposed. The attack is not overwhelming in this regard; instead, acidity builds linearly over the tongue, like a wedge that opens up from front to back of the mouth. It’s finely textured, three dimensional, and would be enough on its own to make a lesser wine worthwhile.
But it’s not on its own here. Flavours that precisely echo the nose run in and around the acidity, winding their way across the palate. The 4 Acres is always intense and finely etched but, as with the nose, there’s a density and depth here that goes beyond my previous experience of this wine. Body is also up on previous vintages. When you add acid to the mix, the effect is not unlike the richest textured velvet caressing one’s tongue. Silt-like, ripe tannins make a contribution to this texture. There’s a climax of acidity on the after palate, and then it all relaxes into a shapely finish that goes on for some time. Sensuous, complex and delicious.
If I were to highlight one quality this wine possesses above all others, it would be an immaculate line. From initial smell to lingering finish, there’s a sense of wholeness and integrity here that unifies each individual component and delivers a wine that, in the end, has its own philosophy. Whether you enjoy it as much as I do will, I suspect, hinge on whether you can relate to its point of view. It had me enthralled.
Date tasted: August 2008