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2002 Water Wheel Shiraz
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- Closure: Cork
OVER DELIVERY, CONSISTENCY AND A WINNER
The Waterwheel Vineyard is located in the Bendigo district of Victoria, a district that was recognised early last century for its ability to produce excellent wines.
“Especially high hopes were held for grape growing and winemaking in the Bendigo district. As it lacked the cooler weather and often marginal grape growing conditions of the more southerly districts – and the isolation and extreme heat of the Murray districts – Bendigo was seen as offering the best of both worlds.”
David Dunstan Better Than Pommard! A History of Wine in Victoria
Bendigo’s stable climate and access to sufficient rains and/or underground water, avoid vine-stress which enables Peter Cummings to produce Waterwheel Shiraz of an outstanding quality on a consistent basis.
Consistency of wine styles, year in year out, is much harder to achieve than one might imagine. Unlike baking a cake, many of the variables are out of the hands of the viticulturalist and winemaker, however, they do have some ability to adapt and modify vineyard and winemaking practices to suit the season.
Over the last five years, wine prices in Australia have soared as export markets demanded more and more wine. Some winemakers moved the majority of their production to the export markets, leaving the Australian drinker to fend for himself. Total wine exports have now exceeded A$2.4 billion, but with the strengthening of the Australian dollar and the weaker US dollar, the export success seems to have abated, with sales down 28% in November of 2003. Cummings had the foresight to anticipate such a demise of exports, and throughout the frenzied growth period, resisted the temptation to increase prices. His marketing position was to ensure that Water Wheel would retain its customer base. A wise decision given the pending oversupply of grapes looming upon the industry.
Cummings never allowed himself to take the high moral ground (as did many boutique producers, who tended to treat wine lovers with a dismissive disdain – and showing a degree of arrogance that would shame Mohammad Ali). Wine is for drinking and made to enjoy. Water Wheel always over delivered on quality. It is this continued over delivery which gained the brand high respect amongst consumers.
The 2002 Waterwheel Shiraz reflects the outstanding growing conditions, in spite of it being drought year. Careful viticultural practices and traditional Shiraz winemaking techniques have delivered a big, classic Waterwheel Shiraz. This is yet another outstanding Shiraz from the great 2002 vintage, at a price that will find its way into even the humblest shopping basket.
TASTING NOTES: An outstanding Water Wheel Shiraz offering exceptional value for money. This is a big full bodied red, packed with flavour yet whilst relatively young is drinking superbly. Totally opaque black purple colour. Aroma of violets, marzipan, vanilla and spice followed by a hint of liquorice allsorts and black pepper. The palate delivers the weight and flavour that devotees of Water Wheel have come to expect. Mouthfilling primary fruit flavours of spice, blackberry, plum and vanilla followed by white and black pepper. Fine grained tannins, perfect balance. Very long aftertaste of blackberry, black pepper, plum and spice that lasts in the mouth for minutes. Yet another winner from Peter Cumming.
Cellar 3-4 years (2007-2008)