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2006 Glaymond El Abuelo Grenache
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- Cellar 4 - 5 years (2012-2013)
- ABV 15.5%
- Closure: Screw Cap
The 2006 Glaymond releases mark the beginning of a vineyard's higher flight towards international prominence. The last time we experienced such a strong and complete collection of wines from a single South Australian Vineyard, we were tasting the wines from Clarendon Hills, which now sell between $60-$400+/bottle. Comparisons between the two producers are not unwarranted. In a region where reputations have been forged by Shiraz, Clarendon Hill's winemaker, Roman Bratasuik, creates world class wines from non-traditional McLaren Vale varieties. The Barossa Valley is even more noted for its plethora of super premium Shiraz and there, winemaker Damien Tscharke is achieving a similar alchemy. His 2006 Glaymond collection reveals four bargains and three varietals that reach new heights in unexpected territory. Like Clarendon Hills, Old Vine Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon take on grandiose, almost unimaginable, dimensions at Glaymond, while new life is breathed into traditional Barossa Shiraz with the inclusion of a significant component of Mataro (Mourvedre). Where Glaymond's wines may not possess the longevity and finesse of some of Clarendon Hill's finest, their sheer sensory impact coupled with incredibly modest prices more than make amends. But be warned: Tscharke is young, determined and not content to remain sitting on the sidelines. Judging by his ambitious yet unprocurable $80 flagship wine (rated 99 points), there's every indication that he's preparing to follow Clarendon Hills onto super stardom to become one of Australia's most extraordinary small producers. Not surprisingly, our advice is to take advantage before success begins to dictate price.
This edition of Vintage Direct features not one but four follow up releases to the exceptional 2005 Glaymond wines, first reviewed and offered in Australia in Vintage Direct No.99. (Previously Glaymond's wines have been exclusively exported. In fact, the rapid momentum of off-shore sales has meant winemaker Damien Tscharke remains reluctant to commit to any significant allocation). Many wine collectors will not have heard of Glaymond wines, despite the fact that the winemaker is a 6th generation vigneron. For those who missed our introduction several months ago, we'll recap briefly: The Glaymond vineyards were first planted in 1961 by Damien Tscharke's Grandfather, Gerhard Tscharke. The vineyards are located on the gently rugged Western Barossa Ridge in the sub district of Seppeltsfield. 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 achieving perfect balance regardless of the alcohol level. The fruit sourced for each of the wines made under the Glaymond label comes from a spectacular site which is also a source of super premium fruit for Rockford Wines and Peter Lehmann Wines. In fact, Chris Ringland, (deservedly world famous for his work with Rockford and Three Rivers) acts as consultant winemaker. 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 a heading down board. After fermentation, the wine is macerated for 10-14 days, prior to pressing in a basket press and racked into barrel. With success comes scarcity. We are again fortunate to have negotiated a small parcel of all four of Glaymond's 2006 releases for the Australian market. With these wines, Damien Tscharke also affirms his direction and dedication to give the consumer the utmost for their money. Quite simply, these wines rank amongst the best values produced anywhere in the Barossa today.
'Damien Tscharke is an artisan winemaker who gives back to the consumer by offering some of the most exciting wine experiences in Australia. While the prices remain more than fair, take advantage!'
Damien Tscharke's comments on the vintage: When I reflect back on the 2006 vintage to determine what were the contributions that had made for such a great year there are a number of things that come to mind. Firstly the season was once again near perfect... Good rainfall late in winter and early spring gave the vineyards a great start followed by ideal day and night temperatures for fruit ripening particularly towards the end of the season enabling me to delay the harvest of the Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon as to achieve optimum tannin ripeness. I must also mention the viticultural practices I implement. Each season I learn a great deal about our vineyards and gain abetter understanding of techniques to which improve fruit quality. During the growing season of 2006 much attention was given to crop and canopy manipulation. Undesirable shoots and bunches were removed and where necessary shoot positioning was employed. Ultimately it was a balancing act to get all of the variables which directly and indirectly influence fruit quality and style right in relation to each other.'
Few Grenache's have the depth of colour and flavour that this wine emanates. Only the Clarendon Hills 'Romas' at around $100/ bottle comes close, making Glaymond's effort all the more extraordinary!“El Abuelo” is the Spanish term for’ Grandfather’. This wine is both a dedication to the winemaker's Grandfather, Gerhard, who first planted the Glaymond vineyards in 1961 and a reference to Tscharke's choice of cultivar (the Grenache grape being an important component of Spain's world famous Riojas). Totally opaque black purple colour with paint like cling. Top note of raspberry followed by liquorice, spice and a hint of vanilla. Explosive palate flavours of raspberry, confectionary, liquorice, vanilla and spice. Exceptional length and depth. Perfectly balanced tannins with exceptionally long aftertaste of black pepper, raspberry and liquorice which lasts for minutes.
Cellar4-5 years (2012-2013)