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2012 Three Brothers Reunited Shiraz
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- Cellar 4 - 5 years (2018-2019)
- ABV 14.5%
- Closure: Stelvin
When Neil Young asks “Are There Any More Real Cowboys?" he might well be lamenting about bargains in wine. Nowadays, searching for them can feel like shopping for something someone else doesn’t want or that shouldn’t have been made in the first place. Your recompense is a ‘discount’, and the main attraction usually turns out to be the work of a graphic designer.
A segment of the market that once rushed to online flash sales and etail opportunists is beginning to realise that real deals tend to hide in plain sight. You just have to look a little harder.
Are there still winemakers who, god forbid, drink what they make, like it and don't see why everyone else shouldn’t afford the same? This could well be that kind of wine. It is one label that has not degenerated into the current of ‘pseudo bargain’ e-markets (eBay et al). Nor will you buy it in the super markets. And there is good reason for that. It is very, very difficult to maintain the kind of quality / value ratio on offer here where mega-scale production is demanded. This remains a 10-15,000 case South Australian cuvee (small by industry standards in this bracket), and one that has never let our readers down. Is 2012 the best yet? Probably, but it’s too early to tell (yes, this wine has a reputation for extended mid term fulfilment.)
A true benchmark of quality for its price point, vintage after vintage this wine never fails to deliver the goods.
Despite the price remaining at a modest $10 for over a decade, the quality has not wavered. Consider that a second thought was never given to producing a wine from the 2011 vintage – the challenging conditions simply didn't offer fruit to meet the label's required standards (NB. Penfolds Grange is produced every vintage). Though the wines can’t be compared, this venture adopts the same mindset as producers like Tatiarra, Torbreck and Giaconda. The Three Brothers label maintains the appearance of candour and straight forwardness. But in reality it's a consumer super hero. In 2012 it offers a level of value and reliability that is unsurpassed at this price point.
Opaque black dark crimson red colour with bright dark red black tinged hue. The nose exhibits a fragrant sniff of ripe blackberries and dark plums over some liquorice, subtlety toasted vanillin oak and spice showing very good intensity. Featuring generous succulent like flavours of ripe blackberries, liquorice and dark plums the palate has excellent weight, depth and plump mid palate richness which melds beautifully into a soft supple textural feel. Background nuances of vanillin oak and spice are also apparent on the velvet smooth finish. Long blackberry, dark plum, subtle liquorice and spicy vanillin oak aftertaste.
Cellar 4-5 years (2018-2019).
While the wine always offers good value, it exceeds itself here, thanks in part to the superb vintage, and in part of the skill (and contacts) of winemaker Ben Riggs. It is only just medium-bodied, a plus for early drinking, the plum, licorice and small black fruits supple and smooth. Drink by 2018.
James Halliday's Top Value Wines - Australian Wine Companion