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2002 Journeys End Vineyards Ascent Shiraz
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- Cellar 4 - 5 years (2008-2009)
- ABV 15%
- Closure: Cork
The 2002 vintage from McLaren Vale is recognised as the greatest in living memory producing wines that have confounded enthusiasts, critics and winemakers alike. That is a big call in itself, given the outstanding wines from the 1998, 2001 & 2003 vintages. The pre-eminent example of this phenomena so far has been a $20 McLaren Vale Shiraz which outscored Penfolds Grange and equalled Hill of Grace, simultaneously placing the producer amongst Australia’s best new vineyards. [See James Halliday’s 2005 Wine Companion] This wine was the 2002 Journeys End Vineyards Beginning Shiraz (now sold out.) When VINTAGE DIRECT first featured this wine in November 2003, it clearly over-delivered on a quality/price ratio. Though implicit in the labels title was a suggestion that better still was yet to come. We soon learned that the imagination of Journeys End winemaker, BEN RIGGS, extended well beyond the horizons of his initial release and the second and third wines of the series were intended to be benchmarks in a formidable Shiraz journey. Knowing too well that the best chance of producing exceptional wine is when the vineyard produces exceptional fruit, Riggs quickly recognised that the 2002 vintage conditions presented a rare opportunity to fulfill this journey: The regular rainfall during winter and early spring ensured good soil moisture which resulted in excellent growing conditions. A long cool summer was followed by a relatively warm autumn. The inevitability of a classic vintage was almost palpable and only after an unusually prolonged, anxious ripening period did the vines reveal fruit of unique concentration and density. Riggs’ intimate knowledge of the regions finest sites equipped him with the ability to secure highly select parcels from the harvest to continue his story of an extraordinary year: THE 2002 JOURNEYS END VINEYARDS ASCENT SHIRAZ is analogous to an ‘abridged’ version of the Shiraz journey being of higher quality than the Beginning though not yet the ultimate expression of the variety; while the climax of the trilogy, the 2002 JOURNEYS END VINEYARDS ARRIVAL SHIRAZ, - represents the ‘piece de resistance’ of the Journeys End collection - a high point of viticulture and winemaking with only the finest barrels selected for final bottling under the Arrival label. Wine lovers who have already tasted the 2002 Beginning Shiraz (or similarly, the 2002 Mr.Riggs Shiraz) will appreciate our enthusiasm for these new releases, and for those who missed out, this is one of the last opportunities to experience some of the finest Shiraz wines from the 2002 McLaren Vale vintage. As BEN RIGGS, continues to consolidate his reputation as Australia’s hottest winemaker, with rave reviews for his own “Mr.Riggs” wines coming from local and international wine critics, both new releases are already in very high demand with export markets vying for the entire production. Vintage Direct have been allocated modest parcels of each wine.
Tasting Notes:An outstanding Shiraz which is filled with an abundance of ‘joosy’ McLaren Vale flavours. Opaque black crimson colour with deep crimson hue. The nose displays a wonderful sniffing experience with a violet top note followed by spice, confectionary, ripe plum and liquorice all-sorts - the sort of wine that one could spend a significant time just nosing. The palate is filled with an abundance of ripe Shiraz flavours. Mouthfilling spice, blackpepper, ripe plum, vanilla and liquorice fill the mouth and are enhanced by velvet smooth tannins. Perfect balance, followed by a very long aftertaste of spice, liquorice, plum and black & white pepper.
Cellar 4-5 years (2008-2009)
Alc/Vol: 15%RATING: 95/100 VALUE: XXXXX/5