Spinifex Moppa Shiraz 2018
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This 3.5-acre vineyard is located in the Moppa sub-region of the Barossa, an elevated zone in the north-west, and has been a source of exceptional Shiraz, Grenache and Mataro for Spinifex since 2005. “The grower is a very reserved gentleman,” says Pete Schell, “understated and modest. But of all the growers that we purchase fruit from, he’s the one who takes the greatest pride in delivering a hand-picked bin of grapes in as perfect condition as possible.” Although the exact age of the vineyard is unknown, it is thought to be at least 90 years old, managed organically for 40 of those. In 2015, when the right vintage presented itself, Schell released his first single-vineyard bottling. Fastforward to this truly superb 2018 release, and you have a Shiraz that’s firing on all cylinders. Two parcels were hand-harvested and fermented with 30% whole bunches in both wood and steel fermenters for 10 and 18 days respectfully, then raised in 600- and 228-litre barrels (20% new). The wines were kept on light lees until racking and blending, 20 months after harvest. There’s an exciting mix of savoury red and dark fruits, spicy meatiness, great elegance and juicy succulence, as well as hints of ink, cedar and black tea. Wonderful complexity, freshness and drive. This brilliant example of Australian Shiraz offers the balance, complexity and class of a great Hermitage! As such, it’s an undeniable bargain. Full of life, it is a joy to drink now but has the balance to age.