The 'Nine Popes' is pretty much the original serious 'GSM' in Australia. Nine Popes is of course a play on Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Tonight I opened the 2002 Nine Popes. This is a great wine. It starts with a sweet, fruity core (the Grenache), but then develops into a savoury profile with mulberry flavours hanging on. The wine has great mouthfeel and length, finishing off with well structured tannins. This wine will go for many more years (and I have 11 bottles left).
Many vines had trouble to fully ripen in the cooler 2002 season, but those that did have a terrific flavour profile and structure. Clearly, Charles Melton managed to ripen the fruit for this wine. It is a top example of a Southern Hemisphere take on the Southern Rhone blend.