Nick Glaetzer's incredible 2014 La Judith Shiraz smells something like pfeffernüsse and cherry preserves, offering layered aromas of cracked pepper, star anise, cinnamon, nutmeg and red fruit. It's medium to full-bodied, feeling bigger and more expansive than its modest 13.7% alcohol, while being rich, silky and long. The oak, entirely new, has been nicely absorbed into the wine, contributing spice and texture without getting in the way of the fruit. It's a tour de force of Tasmanian Shiraz, albeit one produced in micro quantities of 232 bottles. If Mon Père is Saint-Joseph, this is Hermitage.
Second release of Glaetzer-Dixon’s ambitious La Judith Shiraz. The bottle reviewed here was No. 003 of 232. Shiraz for lovers of cool-climate reds. Red and black cherries, port wine jelly, tomato leaf, deli meats, truffles and fistfuls of spice. Throw in walnut and black pepper characters too. First night there seemed a good measure of oak too; day two and it all seemed to have meshed into one. It’s an exotic wine. It’s not for everyone but then the best things rarely/never are.
Positioned just over 400 km from mainland Australia’s south east coast, Tasmania has rapidly gained a reputation for being a premium, cool climate wine region, not just for sparkling wines but also for top quality still wines such as Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Shiraz. With vineyard sites positioned on the north and south east side of the island taking full advantage of the cool, maritime influences and coastal breezes that help to preserve the crisp acidity and freshness that is so important in producing wines of this Calibre. Wine makers in Tasmania utilise the whole region often blending parcels from vineyards across the different sub-regions that each lend its own specific identity to the wines.
Tamar Valley on the north coast is one of the warmer sub-regions with a higher level of rainfall producing fruit with a riper character. Just to the east of this is Pipers River, one of Tasmania’s coolest regions with a terroir dominated by red, ferrosol soils and home to the outstanding sparkling wine producer House Of Arras. Created by Ed Carr who is unanimously considered to be Australia’s greatest sparkling wine maker, House Of Arras source grapes from top vineyard sites located on Tasmania’s south and eastern coastal sub-regions. Also based in Pipers River is our best selling wine of 2018, Bay Of Fires Chardonnay utilising grapes from several Tasmania’s cool eastern coastal regions. As we travel south we come to the East Coast region followed by Coal River Valley, Derwent Valley and Huon Valley. Based in the Huon Valley is Glaetzer-Dixon, responsible for producing, amongst others, the legendary La Judith Pinot Noir with 3 years of aging in new oak. Dr Edge is a producer that focuses on the unique expression of each terroir creating three individual, single vineyard Pinot Noirs each from a different sub-region. Simply named North - from Stoney Rise vineyard in Tamar Valley, East – from Hazards Vineyard in the East Coast and South – from Meadow Bank vineyard in Derwent Valley. As well as these single vineyard expressions Dr Edge also produces a blend of all three named Tasmania. Situated in Tasmania’s smallest sub-region Coal River Valley is Tolpuddle Vineyard who utilise this region’s tendency for slow ripening producing intense wines with layers of complexity.
Riedel Veritas Syrah / Shiraz (2 Glasses)
Enjoy your favourite wine the way it was meant to taste with these wonderful lead crystal creations from Riedel, which are shaped according to the character of the wine in order to enhance its rich, aromatic flavours.
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