2019 Cirillo The Vincent Grenache

Another vintage of The Vincent and it’s proving to be a stalwart in value and quality. Opens quietly with gentle scents of musk, rose oil and then gains some traction with raspberry liqueur, toffee, spice and carbon. Twenty four patient hours later and there’s more spice and fine detail. Wide perfumed lift of rose and red fruit. The acidity and tannin buffered by a washy haze that’s floats the fruit so well. Warm pleasure on a cold night but detailed and thought provoking too. Cracking.

14% alcohol. Screw cap. $22.

93 points.

2014 Cirillo The Vincent Grenache

Enjoyed this on release so much that three bottles found their way into the stack of cardboard loosely described as a cellar. Some of the early musky exuberance has gone to be replaced by a soft detailed deliciousness. Dried rose petals, sweet raspberries and a graphite tug to finish. No bombast but a quiet sense of right grape in the right place. It’s the calm balance of properly flavour-ripe berries, earthy undertones, fine satin tannin and gentle acidity that has you back for another sip. Beautiful growing and sensitive in the making. Great generosity in the pricing too.

14% alcohol. Screw cap. About $21 on release, bargain for wine from 80 year old vines.

93 points.

2013 Sons of Eden Kennedy Grenache Shiraz Mourvèdre

Accidentally typed Soms of Eden, appropriate typo perhaps as this is just the sort of real Barossa that I like to drink. A few years rest in the bottle have rounded and sweetened the beautifully rich flavours. Blackberry, perfumed with cherry, plums and aniseed underpinned by Barossa carbon and coal dust. A veritable symphony that swells with deeply meaningful fruit in its last movement. The blend again is more than the sum of its parts, Grenache the treble, Shiraz the middle and spicy too, Mourvèdre the bass. Warm, rich and generous Barossa at its best. Old Joe in the hat on the label would be as happy as if that were a jazz roll up.

14.50% alcohol. Screwcap. About $27 on release.

94 points.

2012 Purple Hands Wines Old Vine Barossa Valley Grenache

Lurking amongst the investment heavy labels on Langton’s wine auction website, you can sometimes find less coveted varieties and labels that don’t attract a bid and behold, a bargain pops up. Increasingly earlier and warmer vintages are highlighting how well the old Grenache vines are handling the warming. 2012 is perhaps seen as one of the cooler seasons since 2000 but there’s no lack of ripeness here. As the dusty bottle development clears, yes it does seem like red wine changes under a screwcap, sweet raspberry, aniseed and fruit and nut chocolate emerge. Maybe a bit of herby whole bunch pulls the fruit into line? Tasty resolved mouthful of the same fruit, spice and chocolate with just a twist of Barossa dark carbon. Perfectly ripe fruit, a swish of tannin and comfortable acidity. Probably developed as far as it’s going but still frisky as it plateaus. Worth the punt at auction in between the traded labels; this actually ended up in a glass.

13.50% alcohol. Screwcap. $14 at auction, probably about $30 on release. Happy.

92 points.

2018 Whistler ‘Get In My Belly’ Grenache

You have to like a wine with such a suitable imperative instruction and it was my belly indeed via a very satisfactory olfactory interlude! Well pitched smells of musky rose, whole berry ripe cherry and raspberry, woody stalk and dark carbon, all singing in harmony. A good depth of fruit develops and there’s a satisfying mid weight mouthful all knitted together by natural bright acidity and woody stem tannin. Good grapes grown in a place where they seem happy and made into wine in a sensitive and thoughtful way, what more do you want, eh belly?

13.50% alcohol. Screwcap. $35

94 points.

2018 Cirillo The Vincent Grenache

It’s unusual for the words finesse and Barossa to appear in the same sentence but it can’t be avoided here. Perfect musky, red fruit ripeness. Some whole berries in the ferment push the plush brightness and a fine phenolic grip keep the scales perfectly balanced. All the good bits of Grenache grown where it’s happy and no awkward heat, green acid or tannin. It just flows gently, builds sweet fruit and then waves bye with some graceful grip. It’ll be fascinating to see how it ages. Will it get deeper fruited or just lose its brightness? Venerable vines, great purity and just over a twenty. Heart warming generosity.

14% alcohol. Screwcap. $22!

94 points.

2012 Grant Burge The Holy Trinity Grenache Shiraz Mourvèdre

Appropriate bottle for Easter. Bright raspberry, cherry and spice with a touch of seasonal chocolate. Nice mid weight balance and some length carried on acidity and tannin which are tucked comfortably into the generous fruit. Cooler year freshness has kept this tidy perhaps? Not much Barossa coal dust or leather, more pure gentle ripeness. This makes a formidable argument for the benefit of blending those Rhône companions. Probably not a good match for sweet choccy eggs though.

14% alcohol. Diam, which looks like it did good. Thanks for sharing!

93 points.

2017 Eperosa Magnolia Blanc

Barossa Semillon from old vines. Opened a bit yeasty and spicy with rich very ripe citrus to more exotic fruits. Over a couple of days the jangly edge settled well and things calmed down into some generous rich fruit, a touch of oak spice and some firm fresh acidity to balance. The rich yellow green colour suggests some skin contact and the acidity does seem buffered by some good grape skin texture. The whole thing looks natural and has some honest depth from terrific fruit. Big fellah with a fine sense of balance.

12.50% alcohol. Cork, oh dear. $25.

94 points.

A more recent bottle in March 2019 was much more settled. Less yeasty and jangly. Cleanly fruited, satisfyingly deep and poised. Makes you wonder what this would be like after ten years under screwcap. Is it possible to get a six pack rebottled? Can you save old screwcap empties, clean them and stick this in with a squirt of argon? Corks make you desperate in many ways!

Still 94 points.

2017 Massena The Moonlight Run Mataro Grenache Shiraz

Crikey, if you told me 15 or so years ago I’d actually be enjoying the Barossa so much  I would have worried my taste was due a serious swerve or I’d like coconuts as much as Python’s Holy Grail. This is a dark, mysterious and proper dry red wine not liquid fruitcake. Great to see the local Mataro on the label. Dark but still alive fruit to smell and taste. In particular Sunday roast, road tar followed by sweeter red fruits and some dark delicious mystery. Tastes great as a piece and tricky to unpick. The acid and tannin are both ripe, bring freshness and are melded well into the whole mouthful. No confection here just vinosity. Eeow..that’s a bit wordy.

14.00% alcohol. Screwcap. $27 ish.

94 points.

2017 St. John’s Road The Resilient Barossa Valley Grenache

A pleasant punch in the nose of really ripe raspberries, coal dust and woody spice. The flavours are large scaled and deeply fruity without being mawkish and held in place by good comfortable acid and fine graphite, perhaps stemmy, tannin. Once more Grenache looks so at home in the warmth of the Barossa. Maybe it will get richer and less fruit sweet with time but it’s still toothsome now and great value too.

14.50% alcohol. Screwcap. $19.99 at Murphy’s.

93 points.