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2010 Izway Bruce Barossa Shiraz
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- Cellar Drink Now - 6 years (2012-2018)
- ABV 15.6%
- Closure: Cork
The Australian wine landscape shines with family collaborations and successions (the likes of Farr, Woodlands and Cullen) and the occasional dynasty. What if you are not born close to the lure of the vine? What motivates anyone to pursue a lifestyle of physical toil, weather affected sanity and long term commitment, not in pursuit of a role model, but the sheer joy of vinous expression and love of the life? For Izway partners, Craig Isbel and Brian Conway, it was a combination of a concerned parent, youthful wanderlust and a great Australian mateship – two blokes off on the road less travelled. Craig left country Victoria for Adelaide to study sports science. His fondness for the social side of uni life (and the associated liquid pleasures) would point to his future calling. A road trip and wandering career as station hand, miner and tractor driver saw Craig land in Margaret River, jump on board for a vintage and take on the grape for the rest of his life. As for Brian, his wine story started when he was 17. “My old man told me not to go to a mates New Year's Eve party and stay home instead. He told me we would buy a bottle of Dom. This sounded good but I did not really know what it was apart from hearing about it in the movies." Brian recalls, "I went in to the wine store to buy it and it was $120 (circa 1990). At this point I went back to the car and explained to dad it was a hundred and twenty bucks!! to which he replied 'that’s why I gave you two hundred mate, now go back and get it..' When I tasted the wine I recall very clearly that I looked up at my dad and was speechless for some time.”Just like that, taken by the grape. Fast forward to Beaujolais, 2002 and Brian met Craig. “Here was a bloke who, at the time, would average about four bottles of wine a day (starting at 9am)... and still smash out a 16 hour day at full speed. I had never met anyone like him and swiftly came to the conclusion that I would like to make wine with him based on his incredible work ethic, his focus under such extreme conditions (mostly self-induced) and the fact he was a dead set champion bloke.” It is little wonder Craig's other job is winemaking with a particular, world-wandering, wood-chopping, Scotsman, David Powell of Torbreck. With Craig's attributes applied to the vineyards and grower relationships, combined with Brian's passion (as fresh as a speechless 17 year old's) at the winemaking and marketing end, 'The Bruce' is a fitting stop on a remarkable journey. Brian adds, “The real Bruce story began in 2005 when Craig was playing cricket in the local Barossa comp. In the opposing team was Andy Kalleske, who just happened to have five tonnes kicking around at his Cemetry Block in Koonunga. Andy’s fruit (on sandy loam over clay) has always been the heart, weight and power behind the Bruce. The next layer to the Bruce story came from the Schubert vineyard in 2010. Steve Schuberts Marananga fruit is some of the best available in the Barossa and adds the extra tannin, nerve, elegance and minerality to the Bruce.” Roll in the original Izway Home Block Shiraz fruit from Seppeltsfield for added depth and concentration and you have a tour de force of the Barossa’s best subregions. Winemaking is minimal yet intelligent, with natural yeast to start and some cultured yeasts to ensure a clean finish. Acid adjustment is limited and nutrients added to ferments only when necessary. Old French oak is used, as well as employing a 2,400 litre Foudre. The Shiraz is de-stemmed only, with whole berries going to ferment, ramping up the intensity of the Shiraz fruit. Finally, the Bruce is bottled unfined and unfiltered. The result is a stunning, powerhouse Shiraz, truly expressing its terroir and the philosophy of its makers. Once tasted you will be glad Craig chose to hit the road, and thankful to Brian for choosing the Dom over the Bundy and Coke. Share a bottle with someone you love and it may just inspire them on to hang a left on life's winding road.
Totally opaque black purple showing outstanding colour saturation that clings to the walls of the glass with a very deep dark purple hue. The nose presents an alluring sniff of ripe dark plum, liquorice and blackberry followed by some vanillin confectionary and subtle bacon fat like characters. Decadently rich with liqueur like concentration the palate delivers a flamboyant flavour profile of dark ripe plum, liquorice and blackberry followed by some vanillin confectionary and spice. Voluptuous textural qualities with velvet smooth tannins. Magnificent power and fruit purity with very long opulent dark ripe plum, liquorice, confectionary and spice aftertaste.
Drink over the next 5-6 years (2012-2018).