2008 The Story Grampians Shiraz

Attempting to reduce the pile of cardboard boxes, it’s another cellar dweller. Opens without any shyness, gleefully showing off dark spicy blackberry and enough oak not to spoil the overall impression. Builds nicely with bright squishy berries filling the end to give some depth and meaning. All this is tucked tidily into place by some woody stem tannin and fairly firm acidity. The supporting flavours of tarry sweet earthiness seem typical of the Grampians. So good to drink a Shiraz that’s not too ripe and shows its origins with generosity and a warm heart. A story worth telling.

13.50% alcohol. Screwcap. About $25 on release.

94 points

2013 The Story Grampians Shiraz

Rory’s story title for this vintage was ‘Go’ referencing the early vintage when everything ripened frantically at the same time. Looks like he kept his focus and made a beautifully clean,  rich expression of some great fruit. It smells of earthy blackberries, plums and woody herby stems from some whole bunches. A little bit of age has opened up the fruit which is a wonderfully rich mouthful of black fruit held together by those chewy stems. The acidity’s melded well into those ripe tannins. Really scratches that Shiraz itch. The Story’s not a front page sensation but the tale has integrity, great value and deliciousness.

13.50% alcohol. Screw Cap. $27.

95 points.

2015 Best’s Great Western Bin 1 Shiraz

The Grampians and Great Western, a place of quiet brilliance. Never had the scale of production or popularity but for a few of us a favourite Australian Shiraz. Somehow it makes wine without those sometimes too raucous eucalypt perfumes of Victoria. This is bright with dark berries and plums all in perfect harmony with that sweetly savoury tarry earthiness of those dusty soils. Oak’s a faint seasoning. The scale is the big hearted Aussie Shiraz but there’s a poised balance of perfume and earth, firm tannin, acid and fruit that’s unlikely in it’s subtle assurance. Given time, the fruit should get nice and sweet. Best’s go on their quiet way. In the last few vintages the alcohols are getting lower and the sense of place more in focus.

14% alcohol. Screw Cap. $25.

94 points.