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2006 Gomersal Shiraz
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- Cellar 4 - 5 years (2013-2014)
- ABV 14.5%
- Closure: Screw Cap
Since its inception in 1887 by German immigrants, the Gomersal Vineyard has expanded and contracted with the boom-bust cycles of Australian agriculture until being altogether abandoned in the early 1980's. It was in 2001 that a group of mates, led by the formidable Baz White, recognised a rare vinous beauty in the site that others had written off as some of the toughest vineyard country in the Barossa. Unlike most plants, vines thrive in poor soils rather than fertile ones, but the Gomersal vineyard has proved to be a ‘school of hard knocks’ for both vigneron and vines alike. One look at Baz tells you he's a tough character and not afraid of hard work, even when establishing the fifty acre vineyard meant he had to move thousands of tonnes of rock and limestone from the hilltop, lowering it by several metres. On the most difficult slopes, Baz chose to plant eight acres of Mataro and Grenache and as tribute to the vineyard's founders, these have been pruned as traditional untrellissed bush-vines. Baz's big recompense comes in his wines, especially his Shiraz, where the quality of the fruit transforms into an explosive flavour experience under the contract supervision of Barossa maestro, Ben Glaetzer. Reading about Baz‘s efforts at Gomersal, we felt drawn to visit the vineyard during a recent trip to the region. Even for an industry veteran, it proved to be an educational experience. The vineyard's unusual name came about after the outbreak of the First World War when the distrust of all things German reached such paranoiac proportions, that South Australian towns began to change their German sounding names to 'more respectable' English titles. 'New Mecklenburg' became 'Gomersal' – a name derived from a West Yorkshire village. Ironically, no one bothered to research the origin of the title, which turned out to be as German as the vineyard's founders.
In 1964, Waldemar Lehmann and Ron Burton purchased the property and renamed it Chateau Rosevale. Sales of dry table wines were very poor after World War II, so much of the grape crop was distilled. The resourceful new owners turned their attention to the production of spirit pre-mixed drinks and wine cocktails, becoming Australia’s biggest producer of what the liquor trade today calls “RTDs” – ready to drink alco-pops - presently the subject of so much political debate. More importantly, we discovered that Baz White's rugged exterior and dogged determination concealed a soft underbelly. He’s obsessed with restoring the ecosystem to the way the early immigrants found it - well before the invention of modern chemical sprays and industrial winemaking techniques, when the whole Barossa crop was organically grown and made. Baz White’s dream for the new Gomersal Wines has followed that same track, to the point where brown snakes sunbaking amongst the vines are now a common sight. He invited us back for vintage in the New Year, but the thought of picking fruit on craggy, snake infested escarpments seemed akin to breaking rocks in a penal colony. We declined and committed ourselves to the 2006 Gomersal Shiraz instead.
The Gomersal Vineyard is ‘lean’, forcing vines to struggle, resulting in yields of no more than 1.5 tonnes per acre. The little water that's available means that 'text book' vine stress management is near impossible,so small but concentrated berries are typical. The result is highly concentrated flavours.
Very deep black crimson colour with deep crimson mauve hue. Superb nose – perfumed with violet top note, followed by dark chocolate and spice. Outstanding length and depth with flavours of blackberry, spice, vanilla and liquorice, which run well into the very long aftertaste with a very pronounced black pepper background. Fine grained perfectly balanced tannins with very long aftertaste. Baz - you beauty! Outstanding value!
Cellar 4-5 years (2013-2014)