Monday, September 16, 2013

Best's Wines

I took a trip to Great Western a few weeks ago and visited Best's (the website name is great, isn't it: The winery is one of the most historic in Australia. You can visit the original cellars, including the big vat where in the early days all grapes were thrown together: red, white, everything. The picture  shows the original vines from the Concongella block. The oldest vines are over 140 years old. The fruit goes into the exclusive Thompson Family Reserve Shiraz.

I tasted two interesting wines. The 2011 Best's White Gravel Hill Shiraz is a new single vineyard bottling from their second vineyard at 'Rhymney, 13km up the road. Normally this is blended into the Bin 0 wine, but in this difficult year, the company felt it was worth bottling this separately. The wine is bright and fresh, with red fruit flavours, but what stands out is how peppery the wine is. I have maybe never tasted a wine with so much white pepper flavour. The wine clearly stands out, maybe too much (89 points).

The 2010 Best's Bin 0 Shiraz is much more traditional. The colour is darker and the wine tastes of juicy plums. There is some pepper as well, but more in the background of this balanced wine. The tannins are fine, leading to a good length finish. This is a typical example of a premium cool climate Shiraz from Great Western (93 points).    

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