Murray Street Vineyards Barossa Valley Shiraz 2005 $30 and Barossa Valley Shiraz Grenache Cinsault Mataro 2005 $30
From a distance the Barossa might seem like one, big, homogenous region, churning out rich, warm, soft shiraz. There’s a grain of truth in the generalisation. But it’s a complex valley of varying landscapes, producing a diversity of styles within that generally big, ripe, soft mould. These two juicy reds provide a glimpse of that diversity – of ripe, generous, pure shiraz with its plush fruit and tender tannins; and of shiraz tempered with grenache, cinsault and mataro. These add exotic aromatic notes and a ripe jube-like fruitiness as well as a slightly more grippy structure.
MSV Gomersal Shiraz 2005 $50 and Greenock Shiraz 2005 $50
Go to maps.google.com, search ‘Gomersal Barossa Valley Australia’ and you’ll see Gomersal and Greenock, slightly to the north, as sub-regions of the Western Barossa. Follow the line north and you’ll move through Seppeltsfield and into ‘Grange country’ around Koonunga Hill and Kalimna – all wonderful wine country, producing some of the best reds in the Valley. These two reds, made by Andrew Seppelt, express subtly different characters of the Western Barossa – a plump, dense, soft style from Gomersal and a firmer, more savoury version from Greenock. These are full-bodied wines offering a juicy, youthful richness now. But they have the depth to cellar for many years.
MSV Benno Shiraz Mataro 2004 $75
Winemaker Andrew Seppelt isn’t in the Western Barossa my accident. This is where the Seppelt family settled in the nineteenth century and Andrew’s now located at Greenock just a little south of Seppeltsfield. This wine honours Andrew’s great-great grandfather, Benno Seppelt, ‘a pioneer of grape growing and winemaking on the Western Ridge of the Barossa’. Benno combines almost equal proportions of shiraz and mataro (the preferred local name for mourvedre). It’s seductively fragrant, opulent and supple with layers of fruit, tannin and spice – darker and more powerful than the straight shirazes reviewed above, but still part of the family. Available through www.murraystreet.com.au and selected fine wine outlets.
Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2008