99 Points - Joe Czerwinski (RobertParker.com) "Dan's 2016 The Standish Shiraz comes from a vineyard in the Greenock subregion. It's inky in color, loaded with plum, blueberry and raspberry fruit. Full-bodied, creamy-textured and rich, it's intense, concentrated and long beyond belief, picking up hints of licorice along the way. Nearly embryonic, it will need at least a couple of years to show more than the primary fruit."
Dan's 2016 The Standish Shiraz comes from a vineyard in the Greenock subregion. It's inky in color, loaded with plum, blueberry and raspberry fruit. Full-bodied, creamy-textured and rich, it's intense, concentrated and long beyond belief, picking up hints of licorice along the way. Nearly embryonic, it will need at least a couple of years to show more than the primary fruit.
I consider Dan Standish the reigning king of Barossa Shiraz. On a conference-room table at Peter Lehmann, surrounded by other top-quality wines, his 2016s completely bowled me over for their intensity, complexity and harmony. And, according to Standish, 2016 was an easy vintage. One-and-a-half inches of rain in January slowed down the ripening until harvest could take place under slightly cooler conditions. "We had tiny berries, we had to do nothing in the vineyards," he said. Sourced from single old-vine plantings in the subregions of Ebenezer, Marananga, Greenock and Hutton Vale, this is a prodigious collection of wines, meticulously produced in tiny quantities from old vines and low yields.
Joe Czerwinski (RobertParker.com)
"I consider Dan Standish the reigning king of Barossa Shiraz"Joe Czerwinski (Robert Parker.com)
Simply put, Dan Standish produces the best Shiraz to come out of the Barossa hence our excitement to be Dan’s UK importer. A 6th generation Barossan, Dan Standish established his eponymous winery in 1999 whilst still working as winemaker at Torbreck Vintners. His endeavour initially began around an ancient parcel of Shiraz owned and farmed by his father... All batches of fruit are fermented and matured individually then follows a strict selection in the winery that can see as much as 80% of the original blend discarded and sold off in bulk. As with the finest producers in Europe only the finest material is sold under the Standish Wine Company label.
Dan is credited as being one of the most experienced winemakers in Barossa, not only for his incredible work at the great Torbreck winery but also working with his friend Jaysen Collins of JC’s Own, on their joint project Messena. He has also spent time honing his talents working vintages in both the Napa and Sonoma Valleys in California and Rioja in Spain, but his real passion developed through the experience gained whilst working in France’s Rhone Valley. The time in Rhone working with Shiraz, which Dan is almost unrivalled in his expertise with, and the techniques he learned there led to the creation of The Relic in which Dan co-ferments a small quantity of Viognier with Shiraz to create a wine that stands up to the very best in the northern Rhone.
Stylistically Dan's wines are as rich and profound as you would expect from Barossa Valley old vines, but they have a satin texture and dreamy perfume that sets them far apart from his contemporaries. Here, dark fruits are encased in cocoa and earthy richness but with gentle spice, soil tone, asphalt and a stony minerality that gives the wines a beautiful dimension. These are very special Australian wines.
The Standish 2016 wines have cemented Dan’s reputation as one of Barossa’s greatest winemaker even further when several of his wines including The Relic and The Standish were awarded an huge 99 points by Robert Parker.com and the 2017’s are looking just as great.
A land of rolling hills and ancient vines, in the heart of South Australia, Barossa is arguably Australia’s most recognised wine region, but has not been without its ups and downs.
Barossa’s story began in the mid 1800s when a group of Silesian Lutherans, fleeing religious persecution, settled in the region and began working the land of Barossa’s largest land owner George Fife Angas. The settlers took to growing fruit and due to the climate in the region, grapes were most ideally suited and toward the end of the 1800s, several wineries had been established. Distinctly Germanic names such a Johann Henschke, Oscar Seppelt of Seppeltsfield and Kaesler that are leading names in the Barossa wine industry today are evidence of these early pioneers, and many are continuing today through several generations of the same family.
The wines were originally produced for religious and home use but it didn’t take long before they were being made commercially and by the start of the 20th Century wine was being exported back to England. The demand for fortified wine was huge and this coupled with the long journey on water, fortified wines dominated Barossa’s wine market right up until the end of the 1960s, but this would lead to a crisis that would set the industry into decline. As demand for fortified wines dried up, many growers were left unprofitable and the South Australian Government introduced the vine pull scheme, uprooting many of Barossa’s ancient vines during the 1980s. It took the efforts of some of the regions new faces of the time to bring the industry back by paying the growers above market value for their grapes, and saving the old vines that have become a hallmark of Barossa wine.
It is Barossa’s ancient vines that have shaped the region's style and reputation and the forward thinking attitude of the region's producers is one that is only beginning to filter through to the rest of the wine world. The winemakers of the 1980s helped to revive Barossa’s heritage, paving the way for the next generation of Barossa winemakers and this balance between heritage and progression has continued with an unparalleled energy through the region's newest and brightest stars of the 21st Century.
The Barossa Valley is warm and dry with low rainfall and low humidity, which can lead to a risk of drought during the growing season. It’s lower in altitude and is typified by gentle, rolling hills and valleys and is home to some of the world’s oldest clusters of vines, some of which are over 125 years old. These old vines are very low yielding and produce exceptionally concentrated fruit which is exploited by producers like Greenock Creek, Hobbs and Standish to make very rich and powerful wines that due to their concentration, often reach high levels of alcohol. Although several varieties are grown across Barossa, by far the most widely planted is Shiraz, producing rich, fruit forward wines. In the past, Barossa’s reputation has suffered from this rich style of wine, with consumers and producers favouring wines from cooler areas of Australia. However, a wave of smaller, artisan wineries began to pop up during the 1980’s and 1990’s and brought a resurgence to this region with trailblazers like Torbreck and St Hallett.
Riedel Veritas Cabernet Merlot (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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