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Up! Shiraz

Sourced from three great shiraz sites in the “spice belt” south of Mt Barker, the 2014 release shows exceptional aromatic intensity, elegance and balance.

Hand harvested, then destemmed without crushing. Fermentation was carried out in small open top fermenters, mostly with hand plunging of the cap, but also délestage by gravity. After pressing off skins, the wine matured for 12 months in new and seasoned French hogsheads (second and third use). No cold stabilisation, minimal fining with egg white.

About the name: Up is a suffix commonly found in place names in Western Australia’s south-west, meaning “place of” in the indigenous Noongar dialect. This wine evokes the ancient granitic soils of its place of origin in the hills around Mount Barker.

Reviews

Up! Shiraz 2014

The bouquet does wonders… Nice length, great vitality, great flavour, great drinking.

94/100

Mike Bennie, Wine Front

www.winefront.com.au

Up! Shiraz 2014

Elegant. Sumptuous. Floral. Expressive. Spicy. Juicy. Silky. Soft tannins. Great structure. Whole bunch. Yum.

94/100

Erin Larkin

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Up! Shiraz 2013

Matthew Jukes’ 100 Best Australian Wines, 2016.

Matthew Jukes

matthewjukes.com

Up! Shiraz 2013

Great scents of just ripe raspberry, graphite, savoury earthiness, black pepper and a touch of briar. Savoury as all get out in the palate with a chew of cedary oak set behind savoury fruit characters, spice and sheets of firm, powdery tannins. The wine drags long on those tannins and doesn’t skip past medium weight even though there’s loads of flavour and stuff going on. Charred meat lovers should rejoice at how this cuts through such meals. Super stuff.

93/100

Mike Bennie, Wine Front

www.winefront.com.au

Up! Shiraz 2012

Serious scents of cedar, graphite, wet slate, red berries on briar. It’s savoury and dense in perfume. Slick, cool and even across the palate – a dart shaped rush of juicy but contained sweet fruit, coated in dusty earthiness, meshed cedary oak, sent long through the mouth and finishing with a pucker of succulent acidity. It’s a lovely feel and beautiful to drink, with savouriness to the fore. Great expression of ‘Great Southern’. 93 Points. Drink 2015 – 2025.

93/100

Mike Bennie, Wine Front

www.winefront.com.au

Up! Shiraz 2011

Meaty, gamey aromas, but from ripe, earthy fruit as oak seems background here. Gunflint and slate-like minerality in the palate; medium bodied and fresh feeling, some grainy tannin subtly woven in. It’s en- vogue for brightness and youthful feel, delivers with pure fruit and a briny crispness. Expressive and utterly delicious. 91 Points. Drink: 2013 – 2019.

91/100

Mike Bennie, Wine Front

www.winefront.com.au

Up! Shiraz 2010

Australian Shiraz is currently going through a transformation. We are seeing more wines that are more aromatic and spicy with less use of oak. AJ Hoadley has really nailed it with the 2010 Up! Shiraz. It has a lovely bouquet and great length but doesn’t have the overt sweet fruit of some big OZ Shiraz. Once again, this is a wine that is great with food.

Stuart Knox, Fix St James

SMH 2012 Sommelier of the Year

Up! Shiraz 2008

From a 28 year old vineyard, this has firmer tannins than La Ciornia. Very aromatic with bright, sweet, focused fruit – mainly blackberry and raspberry with hints of medicine and meat in the background. The palate has lovely freshness, combining very ripe fruit with firm tannins and good acidity, together with some olive notes. Gutsy and fresh. 92 points.

92/100

Jamie Goode

www.wineanorak.com

La Ciornia

The inspiration for La Ciornia comes from my time spent working in Barbarisc’, 2002-2003. The local varieties (the well-known Nebbiolo, Barbera and Dolcetto, and the more obscure Freisa, Grignolino and Pelaverga) encompass the extremes of red winemaking (in terms of site expression, colour, tannin, aromatics, acidity, using oxygen constructively) so you need to think creatively and have a steady nerve to get results.

Also, being an important culinary centre, most often the focus is on how the wines will function in context with food – rather than aiming for maximum ripeness/fruitiness/extraction. When I first came to Denmark and tasted the 2007 shiraz from this vineyard in barrel, I immediately had the desire to get hold of that fruit and see what I could do with it, aiming for a slightly divergent style – a shiraz that my Piemontes’ friends would love to drink – relatively strict and unadorned, expressing the vineyard character.

So, the name Ciornia (meaning ‘dark’ or ‘black’ in Russian) carries the 19th Century Romantic sense of being drawn by a fatalistic necessity to act decisively… ideally people will sing the song ‘Oci Ciornia’ when they are drinking it.

From ‘Oci Ciornia’ (Dark Eyes) by Hrebinka:

Oh, not for nothing are you darker than the deep!
I see mourning for my soul in you,
I see a triumphant flame in you: A poor heart immolated in it.

Perhaps more significantly, in the local dialect, ciornia is a term for an attractive woman. A very attractive woman. It’s also a pretty bad pun on Cxrnas, that hotbed of potent shiraz-making on the Rhxne.

Reviews

La Ciornia 2013 Shiraz

For a step up in density, concentration, silky texture and unadulterated flavour, this has got to be one of WA’s best shiraz. Simply epic.

96/100

Erin Larkin

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La Ciornia 2013 Shiraz

Lovely fragrance – red fruits, cinnamon, anise, green herbs, touch of briar. It’s supple, succulent, shows some flesh of sweet fruit but begins a tightening mid palate that finishes in a light pucker and some more sweet fruit. Fine silky texture, cool acidity, medium weight and with good concentration. Wow. It just sucks you in from the start. Slides and glides in the palate, feels rich but fresh, spicy but approachable. Super shiraz.

94/100

Mike Bennie

www.winefront.com.au

La Ciornia 2010 Shiraz

Tasting – better still drinking – Shiraz from La Violetta, one has to abandon and discharge previous ideas of heavily fruited Australian Shiraz and, instead, get acquainted with something more refined, refreshing and considered. You won’t be disappointed when your lips meet La Ciornia. There are violets and a fruit quality that is not only intense but very elegant and feminine. Freshness sings through the wine from start to lingering finish. La Ciornia is deliciously, vitally special and will make heads turn and tongues wag.

CHNG Poh Tiong

chngpohtiong.com

La Ciornia 2010 Shiraz

Ripe, cassis and choc-berry aromas with a waft of bouquet garni herbs. Bay leaf pokes out. In the palate, an unusual and seductive textural experience, deep yet succulent, trimmed with dusty, pencil shaving oak and finishing with a lick of washy acidity. It feels restrained now, like it wants to flesh out but has been set to a lower volume at this stage – and good for this too. Herbal notes clip through the palate too. Unique and fascinating to drink, and great cutting through richer foods too. Intriguing. 93 Points.

93/100

Mike Bennie

www.winefront.com.au

La Ciornia 2010 Shiraz

A tight, berry scented and mid-weighted wine of considerable class. Peppery and lifted. Fresh. This wine needs time to flesh out, although its spindly texture and juicy length already provides good drinking. Complex and poised. Drink now and over the next decade.

93/100

James Suckling

www.jamessuckling.com

La Ciornia 2008 Shiraz

The first Shiraz to convince me that Western Australia can come up with the goods Shiraz-wise. The 2008 is a little animal, with smoky bacon on the nose and palate, which is balanced by a lovely, sublime even, lift of violets and subtle spice, also the freshness and purity of its well-defined blackberry fruit. Intense not dense, this is a delightfully nuanced, characterful, mid-weight Shiraz with a dash (2%) of Viognier. Top Five Australian Wines of the Year 2010.

Sarah Ahmed

www.thewinedetective.co.uk

La Ciornia 2008 Shiraz

When I first tasted La Violetta I was completely blindsided. I didn’t expect the pepperiness and certainly had no idea that a Shiraz from Denmark could have Pinot Noir tenderness under its malevolent, vampiric exterior. There is bugger all stock in the UK – but if you have read this note, I would expect that the vast majority of you (if you know/follow my palate) will do anything you possibly can to find a bottle. MJ 100 Best Australian Wines 2010.

Matthew Jukes

www.matthewjukes.com

La Ciornia 2008 Shiraz

Reductive, smoky, animale barrel char, juicy, rich, flavour packed. Touch of nervous acidity and again some reductive funk. Tobacco, earth sits throughout the wine. Lots going on but in a slick, slurpy kind of way. Has an animale personality with exotica and ferrousness. Very interesting and expressive.

93/100

Mike Bennie

www.winefront.com.au

La Ciornia 2008 Shiraz

I had fallen out of love with Australian Shiraz a few years ago, worn out by the heavy alcohol, oak intensity and booming fruit. La Violetta Syrah has opened my mind to the possibility of a different song. It is as exhilirating as the Australian Text Book on Shiraz sung by Maria Callas hitting those notes never thought possible.

Juel Mahoney

www.winewomansong.co.uk

Le Rayon V

The 2013 vintage is sourced from a sensitively managed, dry grown old Cabernet block near Mt Barker, delivering fruit of remarkable intensity and elegance. A small percentage of Malbec heightens the intensity. Fermentation took place in small open top vessels, with hand plunging of the cap and délestage using gravity. After pressing off skins, the wine matured for 17 months in one French hogshead and two barriques. It will develop complexity with at least 10 years careful cellaring. 640 bottles.

Pourquoi ‘Le Rayon V’?

A violet flash (in French, ‘rayon violet’) or green flash (‘rayon vert’) is a rare phenomenon that may be observed at sunset only under very clear conditions. Caused by the selective atmospheric refraction of sunlight at the horizon, so that shorter light wavelengths are the last to be seen as the sun disappears, it is featured in Eric Rohmer’s 1986 film ‘Le Rayon Vert’. The 19th Century French poet, Arthur Rimbaud, himself an imbiber of note, uses the term in his intriguing work, ‘Voyelles’:

O, suprême Clairon plein des strideurs étranges
Silences traversés des Mondes et des Anges:
— O l’Oméga, rayon violet de Ses Yeux! —

The name ‘Le Rayon V’ was chosen for this label as it is reserved for small, unique parcels of fruit which may never be seen again.

Reviews

Le Rayon V 2013 Cabernet Malbec

A wine of some heft, weight, concentration, but a lovely pillowy, soft, supple feel. It flows through the palate with authority yet feels cuddly and warm too. It smells of plums, new leather, liquorice, dried herbs, faintly minty. It’s ripe-fruited but shows frisky acidity underlying and pulls together on rails of very fine, dusty tannins. It’s great drinking, especially if you like fuller flavoured wines.

93/100

Mike Bennie

www.winefront.com.au

Le Rayon V 2011 Malbec Cabernet

Leads of with rich mahogany and berry compote scents – it’s a plume of dense perfume eddying between fruit, wood, earth and spice. Plush across the palate, the wine dips through the finish to a light herbal pucker and lingers with a kiss of ripe fruit sweetness. It’s pretty svelte, although velvety, and feels fresh in fruit even with some of the cedar-oak character presenting a twiggy taste underlying. Composed, one would say. Good drinking in youth. Drink : 2014 – 2029. 92 points.

92/100

Mike Bennie

www.winefront.com.au

Almirante y Obispo GMT

‘Inter diabolum et mare profundum’

Almirante y Obispo (the Admiral and the Bishop) is an unholy alliance between small, low-cropped parcels of Spanish grape varieties from Geographe sub-regions. This uncommon blend unites the weight and spiciness of Garnacha, the wild gaminess of Mataró and the minerality and tannic structure of Tempranillo.

Further nuance and complexity is derived from winemaking techniques such as extended cold maceration, natural yeasts, co-fermentation and inclusion of stalks and whole bunches in the ferment. A spicy, gutsy, cosmic red.

Say your prayers.

 

NEW RELEASE 2015 now available!

Reviews

Almirante y Obispo 2012 GMT (Geographe)

Wonderful, evocative, curious perfume – smells like things you remember from elsewhere. A berry pie? Xmas pudding? Red licorice? Something medicinal? Maybe the whole lot. It had me thinking. Tastes so nice anyway. Has a crispness and lift of freshening acidity, on top, slate-like mineral core with a richness of dark, jubey berry fruit. Great texture, long, firmish tannins, length of fruit flavour; not quite altogether as yet, but getting there. Medium bodied. Acid, richness, bitterness, sweetness. Killer combo and a complexity that draws you in. 93+ points.

93/100

Mike Bennie

www.winefront.com.au

Almirante y Obispo 2011 GMT (Geographe)

Spicy, red fruited, briary, touch dusty but spilling out of the glass with fuming gusto. Really pretty to inhale. Texture is surprisingly tight and restrained, a crispness to tannin that gives great definition and though red fruit and spice jostle, it’s a tightly wound, intensely inward affair. That being said, time lets the wine unfurl well and it’s a very fine, seamless expression of the varieties with a long belt of slate-meets-wet pebble-like minerality underlying. Geez this wine looks good. Structure and precision, yet delicious and intriguing. Sheesh. 95+ points.

95/100

Mike Bennie

www.winefront.com.au

Ü (röck döts)

Sourced mainly from 30 year old, dry grown Gewürztraminer vines near Mt Barker, with the intention of making a barrel fermented sibling for Das Sakrileg riesling. Hand picked and long, slow, whole bunch pressed, juice went straight to old oak with no SO2, settled overnight without chilling, then was racked into 4th use Vosges barrels the next day, retaining some juice solids.

As with the riesling, I find this oxidative treatment provides a natural fining of the juice, enhancing the texture and removing the need for later fining additives. Co-fermented with Porongurup Riesling (to achieve natural acid balance) and a little Grauburgunder, the wine remained on lees for 7 months before filtration and bottling.

In 2014, I produced a very small volume of skins-fermented wine from this fruit, released under the label Ü (lèvre d’orange).

Ü (röck dots) was not produced in 2015 or 2016.

Reviews

Ü (röck döts) 2014 Gewürztraminer Riesling Grauburgunder

Such perfume! Floral, melons, rose water, lemongrass, ginger. Heaps going on and a joy to sniff on. It’s lightly oily in texture but segues long into grapefruity acidity and a clean, cool finish. This is tighter and more seamless than the 2013, controlled and precise across the palate but with interest in its layers of flavour, barely there chewy, chalky fringes and refreshing with piercing acidity. Seriously great drinking and the trio of grapes have conspired to make a wine of interest and complexity. Go forth.

94/100

Mike Bennie

www.winefront.com.au

Ü (röck döts) 2013 Gewürztraminer Riesling Grauburgunder

Super charged aromatics showing quince, preserved lemon and barley sugar with a suggestion of something like sweet musk. Delightful! Slippery-textured, a greasy yet light swirl of concentrated white wine slides across the palate and finishes long and with a lick of gentle sweetness. It’s dense yet frisky, a lick of spice lifts flavours and acidity perches tense amongst the gloss to keep the wine perky. One of those wines that opens up and opens up. Layered and interesting, great to drink.

93/100

Mike Bennie

www.winefront.com.au

Das Sakrileg

Partly inspired by winemakers of the Mosxl Valley and Alsxce, but mostly just to provoke, Das Sakrileg Riesling is produced in small volumes for those with inquisitive palates and a healthy appreciation of diversity. In contrast to the classic, purist Australian Riesling style, juice is oxidatively handled, fermented wild in barrel, matured on unsulphured lees and may undergo partial malolactic fermentation.

Sourced from Porongurup, Denmark and Mount Barker sites on sandy loam over clay and granite. The 2016 release shows great phenolic presence and depth of savoury characters, with scents reminiscent of quince, sherbet, beeswax and complex characters derived from wild ferment and extended lees contact. On the finely textured palate, citrus-like acidity is tempered by the richness of fermentation in seasoned oak and time on lees. A splash of Gewürztraminer tosses up a rose petal bouquet. The wine fermented at ambient temperature in a cool cellar and remained on lees in old puncheons and hogsheads for 9 months, before racking and bottling without fining or filtration. 330 cases.

2016 now released!

Reviews