Wine: Gramp’s “Five Generations” Shiraz
Region: Barossa Valley
Here we go. Let’s address the difficult year in the Barossa that was 2011. Heavy rainfall, and the fact that most of the region was flooded during the month of February meant that wine makers had a very difficult year after a less than satisfactory agricultural growing year.
If we recall, wine is not the same drink every year. It changes depending on the climate and the conditions. The fact that there was rainfall during the summer of 2011 prior to the harvest meant that the ripening period was less than desirable for the wine makers. Therefore, before I move on to reviewing the wine I will list my expectations and see if they match up once I have consumed the wine. Something a little different than the norm. I have tried different vintages of this wine before and know that in previous vintages that this wine can deliver ripe fruit characters, balance and is a very good bang-for-your-buck wine.
What I expect from this 2011 vintage.
- Less notable fruit on the nose.
- Higher tannin level then usually associated with Barossa Shiraz
- More spice than fruit character on the palate
- More Oak notes and characters derived from oak
- Less drive into how the wine works on to the finish. I expect the wine to fall short of the mark and not have a lingering presence.
So now onto the wine and are my predictions correct?
On the nose, and the smell is dull and flat. It is hard to pick up anything on the nose at all. Nothing stands out. The fruit is not present, and you certainly pick up more of the oak characters. There is more of a herbaceous nature to the way the wine smells and you will pick up notes of oak but no dominant fruit structure to speak of besides a small hint of blackberry.
Onto the palate, and it’s dry no power, slight hints of blackberry and spice, but it is sedate. If it wasn’t for the oak, it would nearly be like fruit water and not wine. This wine nearly resembles the hallmarks of a bad Pinot Noir than anything that would scream Shiraz. The oak does all the work, but unfortunately there is no fruit to back it up and and bring any real balance to the wine. It’s light, it’s tart and it is all oak. There is no finish.(Like the cheap $5.00 Shiraz I reviewed earlier. But at least that wine had fruit drive.) These are not the things we associate from the Barossa. We want fruit, balanced with oak and a medium to full body wine. This wine is anorexic in its profile, and boring.
I feel sorry that this is the wine that I would up tearing into. As I stated earlier, this wine label is usually very well priced and produces quite pleasant drinking Shiraz for under $20.00. However, it did what I wanted it to do. It has enabled me to state that wine is an agricultural business, and nothing is ever the same year to year. It also serves the purpose to inform you that you should just avoid any wine from the Barossa region with 2011 written on the label. What I don’t want you to do is avoid the label all together because any other recent year and you would be on to a winner. If you buy the 2012 vintage of this wine, you should be pleasantly surprised as 2012 was a near perfect vintage, and if you really want to investigate what I mean, do a comparison. Buy both the 2011 and 2012 vintages and then experience the difference in vintage conditions for yourself.
Wine Rating 67.5/100
The SA Wine Guy