Monday, October 8, 2012

Spinifex Premium Releases

Every now and then a quote sticks to a winery. So it is with Spinifex when James Halliday said it out-torbrecks Torbreck. What is Torbreck known for? Predominantly the incredible richness of its wines and how David Powell managed to jack up the prices for his Barossa Shiraz. Now Spinifex does none of this. Peter Schell picks the grapes early, the wines are not very ripe, and the prices are moderate by comparison. So what does this comment mean? Beats me, but it gets repeated time and time again.

I recently tasted three Spinifex wines from 2010. The 2010 Spinifex Bete Noir is perhaps its only wine not consisting of more than one grape variety. This 100% Shiraz comes 60% from Eden Valley and 40% from the Eastern slopes of the Barossa, i.e. grapes grown at higher altitudes. As a result, the wine has cooler climate characteristics: it is savoury and peppery. The wine is vibrant and fresh. It has medium weight and good length (93 points).

The 2010 Spinifex Indigene consists of 70% Mataro and 30% Shiraz. This has been my favorite in a number of years, but not in 2010. The Mataro is very strong and dominant and as a result, the wine is quite tannic and acidic with a slightly harsh finish. It may be that the wine will mellow nicely, as the underlying fruit is good, but at this point, I rate it 91 points.

The 2010 Spinifex La Mouline is the pick of the bunch. This wine used to be a Shiraz/Viognier, but in this year it is 97% Shiraz and 3% Roussanne. I think this has been a master stroke. Rather than adding floral notes, the Roussanne adds weight and complexity. This wine is very elegant, as the plum and red berry flavours roll down the palate.The wine has a dry finish and considerable length - very appealing (95 points).


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