||Bendigo, Victoria, Australia
||Medium ruby red
Notes of blackberry, plum, cherry, raspberry. Hints of oak, smoke, pepper & earth.
Pepper notes together with red and black fruits and toasty oak. Medium bodied with great persistence and wonderfully fine tannins. Savoury spicy and gently earthy.
The Centre Block is the oldest of the Shiraz Blocks having been planted in 1969. Soils in Centre Block are deep, red sandy clay loams providing large bunches and large berries. This wine is the 4th single block release and displays great elegance with fine tannins. Only 320 cases made!
The fruit consisted of, 20% whole bunch, 25% whole berry with a 1.5% viognier addition with the remainder of the fruit de stemmed and partially crushed before being pumped onto open vats for fermentation.
Hand plunging and minimal pump overs provided gentle extraction from the skins over 24 days. Once fermented to dryness the wine was pumped into a combination of French oak barriques and puncheons (20% new) where it aged for 12 months prior to being bottled unfined with minimal sulphur additions.
After bottling the wine was aged for 2 years in the cellar prior to release.
17.5/20 points by Tamlyn Currin at JancisRobinson.com
"Full bottle 1,284 g. Screwcap.
Umeboshi plums and tamari, Bovril and maple syrup, last night's campfire smoke and cigar and curled-up feet and toasty pink cheeks and marshmallows held too long over the fire and mellow music in the background turning blurred with wine and the increasing thickness of the night. I feel eucalyptus leaves slipping through a slight cool breeze, sweat on old leather and tamarind on a teaspoon followed by the bite of tea leaves left in a cup for too many hours and then someone took their memories and offered them to you in the palm of their hand. Tea-stained memories. Sepia. (TC)"
Oz Wine Review
‘Another landmark wine from a celebrated estate. More than that, this is the latest in a line of Balgownie evolutions (take a bow Tony Winspear). From the oldest plantings on the now 50-year-old Bendigo estate, with 1.5% Viognier in the mix. Spends 24 days on skins with 20% whole bunches, then matured in 20% new oak for 12 months. Pure class. There’s a cascade of flavours here that mark it as the top tier in Vic Shiraz. Pencil shavings. Dark fruit. A passing nod to bacon fat and sage, then a modulated palate with fine-grain tannins and no alcohol excess. This is what mod Australian Shiraz is about – ripeness, unmistakable generosity of flavour, but also delivered with a sense of shape and purpose. Delicious wine. Best drinking: now to twenty years. 95/100. Would I buy it, Yes’.
James Halliday Wine Companion