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2002 Gibson's Barossa Vale Shiraz
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- Cellar 3 - 5 years (2007-2009)
- ABV 14.5%
- Closure: Cork
WINE QUALITY, SOILS & ROOT STRUCTURE
ROB GIBSON is Australia’s foremost viticulturist, having been responsible for many years assisting growers in nurturing vineyards whose grapes are destined for PENFOLD’S GRANGE. Gibson’s super premium label is the Australian Old Vine Collection Shiraz which is the result of his determination in finding and preserving old remnants vineyards. These ancient blocks of vines consists of only a few vines and often located amongst housing estates, with vines being well over 100 years old. The Gibson’s Old Vine Collection Shiraz is from Australia’s oldest surviving Shiraz vines located at Langmiel in the Barossa Valley. Gibson is obsessed in discovering all he can about vine growth, and in particular stress management. His obsession has lead him to dig deep pits in between vines in order to discover the secret workings of the vines root system and whether there is any correlation between soils, minerals and the ultimate quality of the wine. Vines, like all other plants, need the essential minerals of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous, together with a number of trace elements. However, when compared with other plants a vine’s needs are minimal. Excess mineralisation can lead to stuck ferments and even a high pH in wine, so that a careful balance of minerals is necessary. The vine root system is a highly organised structure, whose primary function is to keep the vine anchored firmly to the ground. The development of the root system is closely co-related by environmental factors such as soil structure, clay content, availability of nutrients, water and oxygen. The root system will respond to nutrient deficiency by concentrating more effort on root growth by influencing root structures, root branching and lateral root growth. Rob Gibson has discovered in his diggings that root systems are deep and very complex, particularly in old vines and respond differently to water stress and tension. The science of root systems, mineralisation and soil structure is still imprecise. However, British researcher Professor BRIAN FORDE of Lancaster University, believes that it will not be long before the relationship between soil chemistry and wine flavours is fully understood. Who said wine was only a simple drink? In the meantime, Gibbo is still down the hole seeking out the mysteries of the vine in order to produce even better results in the future. All rather intriguing stuff, but what about the soil? Soils are composed of living and non living components. The non living components of soils have been formed by weathering of the parent base rocks, whilst the living organisms such as bacteria, fungus microbes, plants and animals all impact upon the soil quality and structure. Soil texture, structure and drainage, together with colour and clay content all impact upon the health of a vine. The subject is complex and there is much that still remains unsolved.ROB GIBSON IS A VITICULTURAL WOMBAT WHO IS OBSESSED WITH PRODUCING EXTRAORDINARY SHIRAZ.
TASTING NOTE: The grapes for this wine were grown on the Wilfreda Vineyard where the vines are approximately 30 years old. An outstanding wine, at a very affordable price which reflects perfectly Rob Gibson’s ability to create elegant wine with power and great flavours profiles. Opaque black crimson colour with deep crimson purple hue. Superb perfumed nose with violet and spice top notes followed by blackberry, vanilla and plum. The palate will continue to develop and blossom for many years. None the less, it explodes with mouth filling flavours of spice, liquorice, vanilla, plum and confectionary, showing perfect balance, refinement yet exerting force. This is a sophisticated wine style, that Gibson has developed and refined over several years. Fine dry tannins, followed by very long aftertaste of plum, vanilla and confectionary.
Cellar 3-5 years (2007-2009)
Robert Parker’s Review
A stunning effort produced from 10-to 150-year-old vines, it was aged in both French and American oak. According to importer Dan Phillips, proprietor/winemaker Rob Gibson, a vineyard manager at Penfolds for many years, is a knowledgeable specialist in old vine Barossa vineyard sites. Gibson has fashioned an opulent, rich, blackberry, charcoal-infused, full throttle 2002 Shiraz offering adequate acidity, a wealth of fruit and glycerin, and a long, heady finish. It will drink well for 7-10 years.
(Notes sourced from Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate #155)
ROBERT PARKER'S RATING: 95 points