* Special 6-pack price - equivalent to £25.95 per bottle *
94 Points - Robert Parker "With an extraordinary elegance and cool climate Grenache character (the vines are 93 years old), the 2003 Old Vine Collection Grenache is not terribly dissimilar from an old Rayas Chateauneuf du Pape. Peppery kirsch and raspberry liqueur-like notes jump from the glass of this medium ruby-coloured, pure Australian Grenache. Striking minerality, precision, elegance, complexity, and wonderful density."
With an extraordinary elegance and cool climate Grenache character (the vines are 93 years old), the 2003 Old Vine Collection Grenache is not terribly dissimilar from an old Rayas Chateauneuf du Pape. Peppery kirsch and raspberry liqueur-like notes jump from the glass of this medium ruby-coloured, pure Australian Grenache. Striking minerality, precision, elegance, complexity, and wonderful density.
Robert Parker on Oct 1st, 2005
Zalto Denk-Art Bordeaux Glass
Zalto Bordeaux glass is recommended for weightier style reds, probably our most widely used glass when tasting in house, this glass is great for many different wines. The large bowl helping aerate and soften tannins whilst accentuating the wines depth and concentration. The Bordeaux glass is the ideal choice for Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Zinfandel, Bordeaux or Rhone style blends and many other red wines. Surprisingly, it is also the glass of choice for oaked Chardonnay as well, the shape of the bowl accentuating the balance of ripe fruits and oak.
Rob Gibson's wine interest began whilst working for Penfolds in Auckland, New Zealand back in 1974. On his return to Australia he began working in the Penfolds Cellar which started a long and successful career spanning 22 years under Penfolds tutelage. In 1979 Rob was offered a Penfolds Wine Traineeship to study wine making and viticulture at Roseworthy College, from the management at the time which included the legendary Max Schubert.
In 1981 and 1982 the chief winemaker of Penfolds formulated a viticulture project aimed at selecting the very best quality Shiraz grapes for Grange Hermitage production. This ground-breaking work developing new assessments and discovering new information about the production of the very best Shiraz, led to the establishment of a dedicated viticulture department. The new systems connected the vineyard block characteristics at veraison, and again prior to harvest with the resultant wine characters and its value. He led this department as the Group Viticulturist until he left to start Gibson Wines. This impressive background formed the basis for the stunning selection that is now Gibson Wines.
He now runs the Gibson winery with his wife Anne and their knowledgeable team of wine enthusiasts. They have a vineyard in the Barossa Valley at Light Pass and one in the Eden Valley and also purchase grapes from the McLaren Vale and the Adelaide Hills. With over 40 years in the wine industry Rob’s hand-crafted wines reflect expert site selection from across the Barossa Valley and a focus on producing balanced and flavourful wines.
"Red grapes flourish here due to the warm climate and varied soil type and the region is best known for soft and juicy Shiraz, old-vine Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot."
Nestled between the Mount Lofty and the Sellicks Ranges to the north east and south and the white sandy beaches on coast to the west, McLaren Vale’s winemaking history dates back to the 1830’s and the geological features surrounding the region are the key influences to its wine-making credentials. A relatively low lying, warm region with plenty of sunshine, plantings range between 50 and 150 metres and the climate is tempered by winds blowing through the foothills from the east and from the sea to the south west. These factors are responsible for the vast range of styles and varieties within Mclaren Vale, showcased by producers like Clarendon Hills who have a portfolio of wines that cover the diversity in sub-regions, vineyards and grape varieties across the region. It is these distinct sub-regions and variations between them that have been in discussion recently with a call to officially classify them, in order to recognize the specific identities of each micro-climate. This will eventually lead to producers being able to use these distinct terms on their labels, drawing further attention to the diversity across the region.
Early vines were planted here by names that have now become iconic in Australian wine. James Reynell and Thomas Hardy planted some of the earliest vines in 1938 and since then, the Hardy’s name has been intrinsically linked to Australian wine production. Kay Brothers is the oldest family run estate to still be operation in McLaren Vale, dating back to 1891 when they planted their first vines in the now legendary Amery vineyard. Production from these ancient vines continues today and plays a vital role throughout the Kay Brothers portfolio, yielding Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon of great depth and concentration. Since the 1990’s, Mclaren Vale’s reputation has sky-rocketed with the emergence of the boutique wineries such as Two Hands who, as well as in Barossa, have identified single plots and vineyards that further showcase the unique identity of McLaren Vale wines.
Around 50% of McLaren Vale plantings is Shiraz with many vines reaching 100 years old or more and harvesting extremely low crops of highly concentrated grapes, capable of producing deep, powerful wines that are very long lived. Cabernet Sauvignon is the second most widely planted variety creating structured wines that show intense blackcurrant flavours and cedar flavours, the cooler sites offering aromas of menthol, and licorice. McLaren Vale Cabernet has many similarities in style to wine from the northern Medoc and with age, these wines can gain great complexity and develop classic aromas and flavours of cigar box and pencil lead as they age. Grenache also has significant role to play either as a single variety or giving support to Shiraz in Rhone style blends. On it’s own it can be responsible for powerful, full bodied wines rich in black berry and luscious plum fruits. With the huge sub-regional diversity across McLaren Vale, it is no surprise that producers have identified specific sites that yield the highest quality Grenache and emphasize its qualities. Blewitt Springs is home to many old Grenache vines which are recognised for their intensity and power and Clarendon Hills are among the list of winemakers that recognized and exploited this.
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