"The palate has a very strong, centered & long shape with plenty of bright raspberries & a lithe, juicy weave of ripe tannin. So long & effortless. Dark raspberry and red-plum flavors last for minutes. So impressive." 96 points, jamessuckling.com
The winemaker is Pete Schel and he is one of Australia's best. He was crowned Young Gun of Wine in 2008 and was a finalist for Gourmet Traveller Winemaker of the Year last year. Countless articles have been published ever since, just like this:
"Pete (Schell) and his partner Magali Gely operate what I think is the best new-wave of small-scale Barossa wine companies to emerge at the beginning of the 21st century… These weren’t big, blockbuster, showy wines designed to impress. They were wines that managed to take the best of the Barossa’s sometimes forgotten varietal traditions and fuse them onto a very European flavour sensibility." Max Allen, The Future Makers
Planted in 1908 and purchased in 2018, this ancient vineyard sits on the northern cusp of Vine Vale, which forms part of Grenache's 'Golden Triangle' in the Barossa: a contiguous group of ancient Grenache vineyards including Cirillo and Yalumba's Tri-Centenary. At 110 years of age, Spinifex's 1.2-hectares may be youthful by comparison--Cirillo's vines are 170 years old--though we're still talking about some of the oldest, baddest Grenache vines on planet Earth.
This inaugural release coincided with an extremely dry and low-yielding vintage, delivering only 10 hl/ha of small, concentrated berries. The winemaking's straight out of the Spinifex playbook: hand harvested, partly de-stemmed (40% whole clusters), no crushing, fermentation with indigenous yeast. The fruit saw 15 days on skins and was raised on light lees in a single 1250-litre seasoned French oak barrel.
"From a parcel on Nuriap Road at the north end of Vine Vale, planted in 1908. This has a very attractive, brambly raspberry nose with wild herbs and rose-like florals dressing very pure fruit aromas. The palate has a very strong, centered and long shape with plenty of bright raspberries and a lithe, juicy weave of ripe tannin. So long and effortless. Dark raspberry and red-plum flavors last for minutes. So impressive. Drink or hold." 96 points, jamessuckling.com
Where this wine comes from - Barossa Valley
The Barossa Valley is Australia’s best-known wine region and there’s a good reason why. The wines certainly live up to their international reputation, particularly Barossa Shiraz. With long, warm summers, the region produces full-bodied styles with power and panache. The reds are rich and luscious in their youth with dark-berried flavours, fruit intensity and fine-grained tannins, which mature gracefully with time in the cellar. But there’s more to the region than Shiraz. Grenache and Mourvèdre do more than play a supporting role in GSM blends, they’re standing on their own two feet as single varietal wines. And with a new school of winemakers at the helm, the region is in good hands for a long and healthy future.