Intensely aromatic, it’s all sweet sensations on the nose with blackberry jam, sweet cedar, and smoked meats wrapped in dried herbs. This is not amiable or charming. It’s too dark for that. But it does beguile, singing sweetly for all that is to come.
The impression of sweet jam on the nose doesn’t quite translate to the coal black palate, which is firm, broad and multilayered. Neither plush nor supple, a seam of lifted acidity caps the stocky fruit on the lengthy midpalate promising a finish bursting with energy. But, after swallowing, the fruit sits impassively, a face of stone, while high-toned acidity and emerging fine tannins warily rush by, a rim around a chasm. The fruit power never quite regains its shape as the tannins swell and acquire more grain and chew, only to be enveloped by tart acidity at terminus.
A wonderfully intense wine, it yearns for acceptance but loses faith, becomes stoic, an introvert that puts on a credible show of geniality, like the character in Franz Ferdinand’s Take Me Out. That’s a lot personality for $30.
Notes: Grapes are sourced from 20+ year old vines mostly in the North of the Barossa Valley. Fermented in concrete vats and aged in 4500 liter foudres for 15 months.