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1995 Best's Great Western Thomson Family Shiraz
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- Cellar 10 - 20 years (2007-2017)
- Closure: Cork
The Great Western district around Ararat in Victoria produces some of Australia's greatest Shiraz wines and yet there are only 58 ha planted out to the varietal (in the old imperial measure that translates to 145 acres) that is an astonishingly small area given that 6600 ha are now planted in Australia. Whilst the area produces exceptional Shiraz, from a viticultural point of view it would be hard to find a more difficult district to grow grapes. The soils at Great Western are naturally poor - requiring the addition of lime/gypsum to provide sufficient vine vigor. The rainfall is low - 590mm per year. This lack of rainfall also has an impact upon the yields which are considerably reduced. Worse still is the fact that the area is frost prone which can wipe out entire vintages. In spite of the struggle, Shiraz takes on its greatest expression here - all at a price. In 1995 the yields were down by a third and as a consequence the available stocks of the 1995 Thomson and 1995 Bin 0 Shiraz are very limited. Viv Thomson regards the 1995 Thomson Family Shiraz and Bin 0 Shiraz as the Classic Expression of Great Western - wines with a capacity to cellar for up to 20 years.
The 1995 Thomson comes from the original 15 rows of vines that were planted by Henry Best in 1867. The wine is living history and will only be available to a handful of very lucky customers as only 200 cases were produced. This is a rare parcel of Australian history. Old vines are extremely shy bearing, however, the level of concentration of flavour is exceptional.Tasting Notes: Totally opaque - the deepest of deep crimson colour with deep mauve edges. The nose displays a wine of exceptional quality - aromas of ripe plums, vanilla, confectionary with black pepper and spice as the last note. The palate is totally mouth filling and displays great concentration of flavour and persistence. Rich ripe spicy plum and blackberry flavours are totally overshadowed by pronounced black pepper flavours. Superb balance, with fine grained tannins, a hint of liquorice emerging. The aftertaste is exceptional and lasts for minutes. A great bottle of wine! Cellar 10 - 20 years.