Sunday, April 4, 2010

A Sensational Shiraz - A Vertical Tasting of Rolf Binder's Hanisch

Rolf Binder's top wine, The Hanisch, is not very well known. It is expensive, and only a small volume is produced from a block next to the Veritas winery. I bought individual bottles from time to time and I thought the best way to enjoy them might be to open them together to get a better feel for this wine.

I have come away from this tasting concluding that this is one of Australia's top Shirazes. It is also an unusual wine.

Common amongst the four bottles I tasted were the amazing nose of all the wines - very flavoursome and enticing, and the feminine character of the wines. They are full bodied Barossas, yet they have this purity of fruit, elegance and silkiness. I found the wines very appealing.

The 2005 Rolf Binder Hanisch was close to the best. It tasted of blackberries, good fruit concentration, but not overly ripe and not heavy, elegant and with a silky finish.

Score: 94/++

The 2004 Rolf Binder Hanisch was slightly bigger and had some meaty characters as well. It also had a longer finish, but was not as harmonious.

Score: 93/+

The 2002 Rolf Binder Hanisch was the star of the line-up, as perhaps expected. The flavours are very complex and the finish very velvety and long, benefiting from the longer growing season.

Score: 95/+++

The 2001 Veritas Hanisch, as it was then called, smelled of gardenia, had a slightly sweet aroma, on a strong backbone. This wine showed a bit more pepper than the others, and again, finished long.

Score: 94/++

I tried these wines on a second night as well, testing a new closure (see above post), and they drank just as well. They remain fresh and lively, with only the 02 losing a bit of its allure. I highly recommend these wines.

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