The new collection from Two Hands and the UK unveiling of Barr-Eden Estate and their ‘Love Over Gold’ project
It has been a long time coming as our previous Two Hands release was launched way back in January 2019. As such, we have gone to town and shipped six pallets which are due to arrive in the UK imminently with the expectation of being ‘physically’ available the latter part of week commencing 23rd August.
Two Hands enjoys a huge, global following and the UK is no different. We are not the ‘exclusive’ agent for their wines as we share the Garden Series collection with Majestic however, the new 2018 vintage is not currently available elsewhere, and neither is their Single Vineyard series. Eagle-eyed customers have already taken advantage with sales coming through for this special collection.
For the first time, we are thrilled to unveil their intriguing ‘Love Over Gold’ project from Barr-Eden Estate. Read on, as the story is fantastic. A note on available quantities – we have been cautious, perhaps overly, as this is very much a ‘tester’ launch for us. We hope you will get behind the project which will demonstrate that we must ship more…
Barr-Eden Estate is a unique property consisting of 130 acres of natural splendour. Nestled on Mengler Hill, the property originally settled in 1858. It rises in elevation from 1525 to 1788 feet (465m to 545m) above sea level.
Barr-Eden is unique due to its elevated location, it sits amongst some of the highest vineyards in altitude in Australia and it is situated across two world acclaimed wine regions; Barossa Valley and Eden Valley.
• All wines are available to purchase by-the-bottle duty paid, and under bond by the case.
• The full suite of Garden Series wines are also available
as a mixed case by the simple click of a button.
• All wines will be available for delivery week of 23rd August.
We look forward to the opportunity of sampling the entire line-up and sharing our tasting notes however, Two Hands founder, Michael Twelftree, has kindly provided his personal views…
Enjoy the read and have a wonderful Sunday,
The story behind Love Over Gold
and the link with Two Hands Wines
In March 2014 Joel Mattschoss, a renowned Barossa grape grower was fortunate enough to source a few tonnes of premium fruit from a long established Eden Valley property. The original 4,000 acre property was settled by the Polhner family in the foothills of the Barossa during the early settlement of South Australia in 1858. After nearly 150 years under the original Polhner family ownership, the property was sold to larger than life, Australian wine industry icon, Bob McLean in 1997.
Bob and Joel had a very close relationship and Joel was able to acquire this premium fruit. Through a common passion of great terroirs and premium wines, Joel showed the grapes to Pierre-Henri Morel, a Frenchman new to South Australia from the Northern Rhône region. Pierre-Henri spent over a decade working for Michel Chapoutier in Ermitage before he joined Two Hands Wines in early 2014. Pierre thought the fruit profile was reminiscent of the most uplifted and complex fruit within his home region.
Together, they agreed to crush and to ferment the 2014 fruit separately, after a meticulous hand picking and hand destemming process. In 2016, Love Over Gold extended their footprint on the property and created Avenue to Gold, from a younger block of vines on the same property.
Sadly, only a few months later, Bob McLean passed away. Through their close friendship, an agreement was formed that Joel and Pierre, as well as Michael Twelftree and Tim Hower (proprietors of Two Hands Wines) would all become custodians of this unique property. From here, the Love Over Gold Estate was born.
The name Love Over Gold comes from this spectacular property as the vineyards have been lovingly planted over historic goldfields in Eden Valley. In October 2018, 1,700 days after the first berries were picked, the first wine was released, thus creating a new chapter of this unique story by the new custodians.
We are thrilled to unveil these truly special,
Barr-Eden Estate Love Over Gold Shiraz 2016
Total production: 500 Litres / 600 bottles / 50 dozen
Love over Gold is made with a deft touch. The wine is magical, its core of fruit caresses the palate and displays great persistence. Love Over Gold’s tertiary aromas and minerality create complexity and drive. It will age effortlessly (in the right conditions) over 20 to 25 years.
Love Over Gold Shiraz comes from an 89 year old vineyard. The bunch configurations are made of a long framework and very loose clusters. Handpicked in small 20kg baskets on 10th of March 2015, it was then diligently hand de-stemmed with only the very best berries selected. Ten percent whole bunch was included in the ferment with only perfect berries left on the rachis. The destemmed fruit was transferred into a small, open fermenter. Gentle pigéage was performed twice daily with the natural ferment progressing at a cool 24 degrees. Once ferment was complete and after 24 days, free run was drained to a 2 year old extra tight, grained French puncheon.
James Halliday “Hand-picked and sorted with infinite care and patience berry by berry, and where whole bunches used, damaged berries removed. Full-bodied, but not to excess. The flavours range from plum through to blackberry, but with a juicy generosity. The marriage of fruit, oak and tannins is exactly proportioned.”
Only 24 bottles available
Presented in a beautiful wooden case
£150.00 per bottle, or
£736.65 per case (6x75cl) In Bond
Avenue to Gold Shiraz 2017
Avenue to Gold possesses a very lifted aromatic and excellent ripe fruit that create a lasting mouth feel. Vibrant crimson colour. Aromas of fresh blackberry and juniper which evolve to pipe tobacco, dried sage and rosemary. The wine enters the palate with power and presence carrying liquored blackberry and coal dust flavour at first impression. It turns savoury delivering black peppercorns and umami notes. A complex, mouth watering finish touches on both fruit and savoury details. Avenue to Gold’s fine tannins and acidity will bring pleasure in its youth as well as allow cellaring for 10 to 15 years.
Hand picked on March 21st, this 23 year old Shiraz block went into a 4 tonne fermenter for 17 days before being pressed and sent into a concrete tank for maturation. After 12 months, we put the wine in a 3 year old French puncheon to add complexity to the tannins structure. Only a small portion of the pressings were used in the final blend.
£34.95 per bottle, or
£161.35 per case (6x75cl) In Bond
Dreams of Gold Shiraz 2020
Dreams of Gold exhibits vibrant red fruits with minty, eucalypt and winter green nose. These aromatics pass through on the palate and complement the soft supple tannins. This is a perfect example of Eden valley Shiraz, seductive and elegant with great balance and length.
Hand picked early morning on 23rd of March, “Dreams of Gold” comes from vines planted in 1997 and 2013. The wine has been made in a 4 tonne fermenter and stayed on skins for 18 days before being pressed in a small basket press. Some of the pressings were blended back to the free run for extra complexity. The wine was aged in 3 and 4 year old French oak puncheon and Hogshead.
£24.95 per bottle, or
£111.35 per case (6x75cl) In Bond
Latest Releases from
Two Hands Wines
Including the highly sought after Single Vineyard Series and two exciting introductions: Waterfall Block Shiraz (Adelaide Hills) and Max’s Garden Shiraz (Heathcote)
To celebrate their UK launch, Michael Twelftree (founder of Two Hands Wines) had kindly provided a little insight to the entire collection. While we eagerly await their delivery, here are a few words from Michael…
Can you tell us about the 2019 vintage and its effect
on your multi-regional wines?
MT: 2019 was a great vintage for Two Hands. It really is a one in a quadrella era of great vintages, starting with 2018 through to 2021.
The 2019 growing season began with a very, very dry winter. This put a lot of pressure on us viticulturally, proving difficult to get enough canopy and even ripeness. Then, came a very dry hot summer. We had two heat events through the summer that put a lot of stress on the vineyard. We really had to manage these vineyards and canopies to get the fruit through those extremely hot periods (of over 40 degrees Celsius). A lot of vines didn't get through those periods of heat: They lost all their leaves; were too stressed and pretty much ‘boarded’ their crops. So, because of the heat, it meant huge efforts with canopy management to help the vines through the warmer summer months which resulted in us having beautiful tight bunches with small berries.
It’s a very, very low yielding vintage but that's where the concentration of the wines come from. Our different techniques, mixing tradition (straw under vine, Kaolin Clay spray to work as a sunscreen) and new technology (Sap flow management to improve irrigation efficiency) gives us a great advantage in such a vintage.
Our customers often tip your Single Vineyard Series as their firm favourite. How is the 2019 collection looking? Which wines are you particularly fond of?
MT: I’m thrilled with the quality of our 2019 Single Vineyard Series wines; across the range, the six wines are spectacular.
The three wines that I'd like to draw your attention to are: “Dave’s Block”, the only single vineyard wine from McLaren Vale. This wine comes from Blewitt Springs, a very, very old vineyard on de Friedman's property in the hills above McLaren Vale township. This is quite an amazing vineyard thanks to its high elevation on sandy soils with orange clay underneath. What we find here with 75 year old vines is that we get incredible fruit concentration. And the ripening curve here is very slow so we get a beautiful, aromatic profile that is very lifted. It’s a wine that is unique to any other across the portfolio.
Another one that's spectacular in 2019 is our “Waterfall Block.” This is from a vineyard close to Adelaide city. It's only eight and a half kilometers from the CBD of Adelaide and is actually in an area of Adelaide where there's a lot of residential housing. It’s a very steep vineyard, a tiny two and a half acres with an incredibly red soil with lots of stone all through it. It's about 30 years old on a very, very tight sloping site with a creek at the bottom of the gully. This site provides an incredible range from red to purple fruit, extremely lifted aromatics and a really succulent palate. What I love about “Waterfall Block” is that once again, it stands out as being a lone-ranger in our collection. It really is a tiny spot.
Lastly, is one of the great vineyards of the Barossa Valley, our “Holy Grail.” It's from the oldest vineyards on the site planted, with a very special and rare clone called Kalimna 3C. These are about 22 year old vines that always crop with incredibly small berries that ripen very, very slowly. What I love so much about “Holy Grail” is just this graveliness of the tannins. The tannins start very early in the mouth yet they're incredibly persistent. I think they are three spectacular wines, in a collection of wines that I'm very, very proud of.
Single Vineyard Series
All wines in this series are available at:
£49.95 per bottle, or
£236.35 per case (6x75cl) In Bond
Two Hands Waterfall Block Shiraz 2019
Mike Bennie (The Wine Front) "The vineyard is located in the Adelaide Hills suburb of Burnside, set on a steep slope, a collection of vines that date back almost thirty years. Great to see the urban vineyards utilising in this fine wine paradigm.
Smooth operator. Choc-berry, slippery texture, pure-feeling with inky feel, a web of feathery tannin holding things in. It’s heady with booze-soaked forest berry characters, lots of sweet and peppery/paprika spice, a snifter of clove-woody stuff. Best of all is the balance, even, flowing, well judged at just over medium weight and holding good shape. Evocative, delicious, character-filled red."
Two Hands Yacca Block Shiraz 2019
Mike Bennie (Wine Front) "This wine comes from a block at almost 500 metres above sea level on Menglers Hill in Eden Valley. Hard Yacca.
Pretty wine with heft and depth. Lots of blue fruits in perfume, sweet herb, violets and sweet spice. Supple texture that finishes in a neat, light and fresh point. More of the blueberry/mulberry fruit, quite a decent lash of cedary-vanilla-cinnamon woody spice laid on. It rolls round and long with its big fruit and spice character."
Two Hands Dave's Block Shiraz 2019
Mike Bennie (Wine Front) "Good gear. This site is in Blewitt Springs, a sandy site, 50-plus year old vines.
Choc-cherry scents, whiffs of sweet, turned earth, cedar, some fennel, liquorice, sea spray going on. Fresh feeling palate yet shows depth, dark berries, more of the choc and mocha thing going on, gummy tannins a little out of the range of the fruit but present. Decent length too."
Two Hands Holy Grail Shiraz 2019
Mike Bennie (Wine Front) "Seppeltsfield vineyard, the newest estate vineyard in the Two Hands folio of vines. 'The pinnacle of our wine production' touts the marketing materials.
It’s potent red wine, no doubt, powerful, concentrated, energetic. It smells ripe fruited, dense, with blackberries, boot polish, liquorice, brined black olives and mint in the mix. Breathy and warm to taste with deep flavour profile, red and black berry fruit characters, very ripe, breathy sweet spice, lifted, citrusy acidity doing fresh things but poking out the finish too. It feels like a wine that needs time, with character-filled fruit on hand."
Two Hands Secret Block Shiraz 2019
Mike Bennie (Wine Front) "From Moppa Springs. A Secret Block, nonetheless…
Very perfumed, very satiny, lithe and pure-feeling with great coverage of fruit, spice, wood, tannin and sundry savoury flavours. A broad spectrum, complex red of potency and slick feel with maltiness the lingering finish. Hefty, but has this lift and drive. It’s very good, bolder red, though you’d say the booziness/breathy feel to finish is the quibble."
Your Garden Series enjoys huge popularity across the UK presenting a brilliant showcase of the individual characteristics of Shiraz grown in different regions of Australia. Could you highlight a few unique characteristics and contrasts? Perhaps your top 3 wines?
MT: Three wines that I really liked from the 2018 vintage are three wines with contrasting terroirs within Australia. “Samantha's Garden” from Clare Valley, which is always just über feminine and elegant. It has red fruits, and very soft, plush, very round tannins. It's one that I've always gravitated towards because I love its softness, mouthfeel and texture.
Then moving from Clare Valley down to the coastal area of McLaren Vale, to “Lily’s Garden” where we get a lot of really plummy, purple and really dark fruit. What I really love about McLaren Vale from the 2018 vintage is it has this lovely, elevated, aromatic profile and this deep, deep texture.
Lastly, I really enjoyed the “Bella’s Garden” from the Barossa Valley. Here we are open to much more rich, bold fruit flavours. I think the magic act in Barossa is just how it presents as being a ‘big’ wine, then when you finish tasting it, it's so seamless and immensely soft and round and it ends with beautiful, pleasurable tannins.
What I love about the three wines is I think they're the three great wine regions in South Australia. I love Clare for its red fruit and femininity. I love McLaren Vale for its plumminess and purple deep fruits, and then Barossa is that liquorice strap, dark fruit, lifted aromatics, and incredibly pinged and nervy tannins that has this succulence and mouthfeel. So, they’re three very contrasting wines and I just think that goes to show just how great Shiraz is in South Australia.
All wines in this series are available at:
£29.95 per bottle, or
£136.35 per case (6x75cl) In Bond
Two Hands Max's Garden Shiraz 2018
Gary Walsh (The Wine Front) "An excursion into Victoria, dangerous as that may be these days, sourced from a 19 year old vineyard in Colbinabbin.
Sweet red fruit, gum leaf, plenty of spice. Medium-bodied, orange peel and dried herb, brightly lit with an attractive perfume, a sort of iron filings character, and juicy red and black fruits on a cool and precise finish. Excellent."
Two Hands Bella's Garden Shiraz 2018
James Halliday "Open-fermented, destemmed, some whole bunch, pumpovers, 16 days on skins, matured for 17 months in French oak (14% new). The bouquet is fragrant, the wine no more than medium-bodied, and well balanced courtesy of fresh red and dark fruits. It's not often that tannins decide the all-up quality of a Barossa Valley shiraz, but they do in this instance."
Two Hands Lily's Garden Shiraz 2018
Gary Walsh (The Wine Front) "Six wines in the ‘Garden Series’, all conveniently colour coded for ease of identification. From a range of sub-regions including Blewitt Springs, Clarendon, McLaren Flat, Seaview, Tatachilla, and Willunga Hills, which probably just about covers McLaren Vale!
Richness of blue fruits and chocolate, a little beefy and saline, some gum leaf/mint in there also. Full-bodied, black and blue fruit, again pretty beefy, with some pressed flowers, and a solid finish with some red fruits poking through."
James Suckling "This has a bold feel with plenty of rich dark plums, blackberries and hints of cocoa. The palate is ripe, fleshy and mouth-filling with long, dark-fruit flavors. Plum-stone finish. Drink or hold."
Two Hands Samantha's Garden Shiraz 2018
James Halliday "Crushed and fermented in large open fermenters, twice-daily pumpovers, 13 days on skins, 18 months maturation in used French hogsheads and puncheons. Has that black fruit power of the Clare Valley that can seem impenetrable, but this has its best years in front of it. A complex bouquet, the palate locked up with its tar and roses flavour base."
Two Hands Harriet's Garden Shiraz 2018
Gary Walsh (The Wine Front) "The name Harriet puts me in mind of ‘So I Married an Axe Murderer’, though given it’s the name of Michael Twelftree’s daughter, I hope that doesn’t happen. This comes from the Hope Forest region, which sounds like a character from The Bold and the Beautiful, and so it goes. Maybe I should just stop typing the rubbish that pops into my head…quit while I’m ahead.
Fragrant, spicy, raspberry rope and herb garden. Medium-bodied, fresh, lithe and juicy, a cool feel with warming brown spice, sun-dried tomato, tannin grips surely but gently and the finish is long and fresh. Perhaps a truffle perfume as it goes. Very good."
Two Hands Charlie's Garden Shiraz 2018
Gary Walsh (The Wine Front) "From Mengler’s Hill up at 460-490 metres above sea level. Vines are between 10 and 81 years old, so quite a few generations in the mix here.
Classic Eden Valley with red fruits, chamomile and sage, plus some spice. It’s medium-bodied, supple and spicy, fresh and juicy, tannin with something of a stony feel, running to blackcurrant and sage on a long cool finish. Very good. A wine of finesse and regional charm."
Taste every wine in our Garden Series Shiraz 6-pack
Showcasing six wines, each sourced from a premium Shiraz growing region in Australia, all handled identically in terms of vinification and maturation on the Two Hands’ estate, the Garden Series accurately reflects the soil, climate and other aspects of each unique region.
Contains one of each of the 2018 Garden Range
£179.70 per case of 6