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2001 Journeys End Vineyards Ascent Shiraz
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- Cellar 4 - 5 years (2007-2008)
- ABV 15%
- Closure: Cork
Twenty years ago, Australian wine exports totalled 8.4 million litres (or around 3% of production.) Today that number has surpassed domestic consumption with an amazing 51% being exported. The rapid ascent and continuing success of Australia’s wine industry has been attributed to the fact that Australian wines are “accessable, consistent and affordable - but not bargain basement - and they are a good deal since Australian winemakers [generally] over deliver on quality at all price points.” Indeed, relative to prices globally, there are few Australian wines that could lose on value. However, in an increasingly crowded market, the difference between a ‘good deal’ and an exceptional one is growing every day. Some winemakers have realised that the only way to ensure the success of a new brand in todays market place is to over deliver on both quality and value - plus, plus.
Journeys End Vineyards have quickly gained a reputation for just that. Winemaker BEN RIGGS, who is widely regarded as one of Australia’s leading Shiraz winemakers, has produced another outstanding Shiraz, representing the second tier of the vineyards Shiraz Journey – the first Shiraz being labelled ‘The Beginning’. Journeys End Ascent Shiraz is produced from low yielding vines and gains its layers of complexity in part by using a variety of Shiraz clones. These clones include such exotic numbers as SA 1654, SA 1127, SA 712 & BVRC 30. Whilst it may all appear to be mumbo jumbo, in reality each clone of Shiraz has its ownpeculiar characteristic. Clone SA 1654 has a stewed fruit and sour cherry flavour profile, SA 2626 delivers the winemaker a firmer tannin structure, fuller palate and peppery back palate, SA 1127 is more aromatic on the nose with top note of violet and plum. The tannins are firm and the black pepper characteristic more intense. The interesting observation relating to clonal selection is that the end flavour profiles tend to be terroir specific. If for example, clone SA 712 was planted in say Heathcote, the aroma of chocolate, plum and vanilla may not be apparent and a different profile may evolve. That is one of the fascinating aspects of viticulture. It is by master blending these final components that additional complexity can be achieved. For the Ascent Shiraz, Ben Riggs uses new American and French oak barriques from various coopers to add even more layers of flavour. With the much anticipated release of the “Journeys End Arrival Shiraz” due next year, only time will tell whether the series will become collectables. What is clear is that if the Australian Wine Industries upward journey is to be sustained, it will be with wines like the 2001 Ascent Shiraz, which represents another benchmark in quality and value for money.FROM THE USE OF A VARIETY OF CLONES TO A COMBINATION OF OAK, EVERY EFFORT HAS BEEN MADE TO MAXIMISE COMPLEXITY & FLAVOUR. THE RESULT IS A WINE THAT OVER DELIVERS PLUS PLUS ON BOTH QUALITY & VALUE.
Tasting Note: Yet another testament to the great 2001 vintage in South Australia. Opaque crimson colour with crimson hue. The nose is a touch subdued at first but a few twirls of the glass reveals superb aroma of violets, dark chocolate and spice with cedar and vanilla end notes. The palate has excellent weight and is mouthfilling with flavours of black pepper and spice followed by layers of liquorice and mocca. Outstanding length. Fine grained tannins, perfect balance with very long aftertaste of black pepper, liquorice and spice.
Cellar 4-5 years (2007-2008)