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2001 Best's Bin No. 0 Great Western Shiraz
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- Cellar Drink Now - 5 years (2010-2015)
- ABV 13.5%
- Closure: Cork
The name ‘Great Western’ has become synonymous with the Melbourne Cup and the vast quantities of Great Western Sparkling that is consumed. However, Great Western as a district is steeped in history and like the Melbourne Cup has had its fair share of winners and losers.
The history of Great Western is very much about gold and in particular that stretch of country between Ballarat, Ararat and Stawell which became the epicentre of the Victorian goldfields. In 1856, 60,000 people were at the diggings, about one fifth of the state’s population at the time. This vast tent city was a tightly knit community. They never lost their love and need of the lively arts and a handful of gold could buy anything. They erected canvas theatres, dance halls, gambling salons, shooting galleries and just about anything that could be bought and sold. This was Australia’s wild west. It was in this environment that Henry Best established the Concongella Vineyard in 1866.
Today these vineyards are run by Viv Thomson and his family who produce the wonderful Bin No. 0 Shiraz. The nomenclature “Bin No. 0 Shiraz” has always been somewhat of a mystery. Best’s early records indicate that the numbering system was developed by local General Merchants who used it as a means of classifying the quality of the wine. Bin No. O being of the highest quality was sold for around 2 shillings a bottle in 1900, No. 1 slightly less and finally No. 5 was the rough stuff for the unlucky but needy workers.
The Bests Bin No. 0 is grown from the original cuttings that were planted in 1866. The present vineyard consists of Barts Block planted in 1966, Marcus’ Block planted in 1970 and the Battle Block (Bowtrells) planted in 1992 and 1994. The soils are composed of sandy loam overlaying deep clay subsoil which is found along the Concongella Creek. The 2001 growing season was prolonged with the hottest summer on record. March rains extended the ripening process with Shiraz grapes being picked on the 4th, 7th and 16th of April. No grapes from the newer Rhymney plantings were included in the No. 0. The Best’s Great Western Bin No. 0 Shiraz is a tribute to our past heritage and the vision of Australia’s pioneers.
The colour of this wine is holding up exceptionally well displaying an opaque dark red black colour with a very deep dark red (just beginning to verge on brick red) hue. Aromas of leather and earth, blackpepper and stewed plum. Elegant but powerful palate flavours of blackberry, plum and blackpepper with an earthy leather overlay displaying magnificent integration with the velvet smooth tannin structure. Very long aftertaste of plum, liquorice, blackpepper and leather. Very Limited stocks.
Drink now or cellar a further 4-5 years (2010-2015)
Retasted May 2005:
Very deep crimson colour with deep crimson hue. The nose delivers a perfumed lift, with notes of violets, confectionary, vanilla and spice emerging. The palate is mouthfilling, there is a touch of truffle evident, followed by hints of leather, white pepper, plum and vanilla. The white pepper flavours component kicks in at the near end, but lasts well into the aftertaste. Perfect balance. Very long aftertaste of confectionary, truffle, earth, spice, plum and white pepper.
Cellar 5-8 years (2010-2013)
First tasted December 2003:
Very deep crimson colour with deep crimson hue. Superb nose of violets and spice followed by vanilla and blackberry with a distinctive white pepper end note. The palate is refined, it has weight and beautiful structure but without the enormous body weight that is evident from Barossa and McLaren Vale. There is no shortage of flavour with the black pepper characteristics being very pronounced. Mouthfilling flavours of plum, blackberry, black pepper and violet infusions fill the mouth. Perfect balance with very fine tannin structure and an exceptionally long aftertaste of black pepper, spice and plum.