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2005 Glaymond Landrace Shiraz Mataro
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- Cellar 3 - 4 years (2011-2012)
- ABV 15.8%
- Closure: Cork
There are a number of Australian and International wine commentators who acknowledge American Wine guru, Robert Parker, as the world’s most influential wine critic, yet remain adverse to his predilection for ripe, flavour packed, high alcohol wines - however well balanced they might be. A seemingly orchestrated campaign to undermine Parker's influence is being played out with the ‘whipping boy’ being high alcohol content. Unfortunately for the disgruntled critics, the vast majority of wine drinkers love the same wines that Parker does. Big, ripe fruit flavours, as opposed to 'green', unripe flavours, are simply the result of fully ripened fruit, from which higher alcohol levels are often inevitable. The increased flavour levels represent a natural progression of the viticulturalist's art, made possible through a more scientific approach to vineyard management, particularly with regard to maximising fruit ripeness,as well as various technological developments (for example, more rigorous yeast strains now avoid the stuck ferments of times gone by).
The precise relationship between fruit ripening and flavour development remains incompletely understood. In fact, it is so complex that it is difficult to distinguish between the multitude of interacting factors. Soil types, soil pH, water availability and distribution are certainly significant.Recent research at U.C. Davis in California, suggests that the selection of original vine root stock plays the most important part in flavour development. Whatever the case, it is the small artisan winemakers that continue to drive the flavour push, conscientiously sampling berries from rows of their specialist vineyards and picking only perfectly ripe parcels of grapes, during separate stages if need be.
Damian Tscharke of Glaymond Wines, together with consultant winemaker, Chris Ringland, (deservedly world famous for his work with Rockford and Three Rivers) are two such vignerons. Glaymond is also about pigs. Not the flying sort, but traditionally the family operated a stud piggery, breeding the Landrace pig – whose past legacy lives on in the name of Glaymond's Shiraz Mataro blend. Planted by Tscharke's grandfather in 1961, the Glaymond vineyard is located on the Western Barossa Ridge. To get a feel for the terroir, one only has to consider his neighbours: Torbreck, Greenock Creek and Kalleske. The common obsession of all these producers is with maximising flavour and acheiving perfect balance regardless of the alcohol level. The winemaking at Glaymond is traditional. The incoming fruit is crushed and fermented in open top fermenters. Maximum extraction of tannins and colour is achieved by the use of treading down board. After fermentation, the wine is macerated for 10-14 days, prior to pressing in a basket press and racked into barrel. Many wine collectors will not have heard of Glaymond wines, despite the fact that the winemaker is a 6th generation vigneron. The reason being is that most of the wines have been sold on to export markets. We are indeed fortunate to have secured a modest parcel of Glaymond's 2005 Landrace Shiraz Mataro, as well as miniscule quantities of two other stunning wines.
GLAYMOND WINES ARE A FANTASTIC NEW DISCOVERY FOR AUSTRALIAN WINE LOVERS!
The Glaymond wines celebrate the advance of modern vineyard managment and winemaking, and embody the passion of the true artisan winemaker - an acheivement winelover's should encourage, given the consolidation in the Australian wine market, 95% of which is dominated by big companies producing volume brands. While these are sometimes great value for money wines that have also spearheaded Australian wine exports success of the last decades, big companies are not generally able to economically produce ‘hand made’ wines. It is the 5% of passionate winemakers and viticulturalists who are obsessed with the pursuit of optimum flavour profiles and perfect balance, that offer some of the most exciting wine experiences in the world.
The blend is composed of 60% Shiraz and 40% Mataro. Opaque bright crimson colour with black crimson hue, showing excellent cling. Smoky oak top note followed by spice, blackberry and liquorice with vanilla end note. The palate explodes with mouthfilling flavours of liquorice, blackberry, mocha and blackcurrant. Fine grained tannins, very spicy. Aftertaste of dark chocolate, mocha, liquorice, black pepper and blackberry. Cellar 3-4 years (2011-2012)
Blends of 60% Shiraz and 40% Mataro (Mourvedre), the 2004 and 2005 Landrace are both outstanding. Revealing a more opaque purple color, the 2005 Landrace (15% alcohol) possesses great intensity, beautiful floral notes intermixed with blueberries, blackberries, and hints of incense and camphor, and a rich, deep, full-bodied, powerful style. Both cuvees were aged 19 months in primarily French 300 liter hogsheads, with only 30% new. It should keep for 10-15 years.
Rating: 94-96 points.
Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate # 167 Oct 2006