Wine: Good Catholic Girl “The James Brazill”
Region: Clare Valley
Wine Maker: Julie Ann Barry
Good evening wine lovers. Tonight I am on a wine that I came across on my travels to the Clare Valley back in 2010. I stumbled across a little boutique wine maker under the alias of “The Good Catholic Girl”, and I got a look at their 2008 Vintage of the James Brazill. It was something quite interesting and quite frankly, outstanding. The name of the winery bared no resemblance to the style of this wine. A sinner among the clean cut folk. Definitely not a “good catholic”… It was so good, it just had to be evil.
Never-the-less, it was not until recently, I stumbled across this wine at my local cellar door, and this instantly led me to purchase the latest vintage. How could I bypass this wine when I instantly succumbed to it back in 2010? In this case, I parted with my hard earned on the 2012 vintage. Without tasting this wine, I am confident that the 2012 should not disappoint. The James Brazill Shiraz is taken from cuttings from the infamous Jim Barry’s Armagh Shiraz vines. Some pretty solid vines to be taking cuttings from as a bottle of Armagh sells for around $200 a bottle. This is noticeable in the wine too, as I discovered back in 2010. I am quite excited to bring this wine to you this evening.
Colour: Plum, with matching hue.
Aroma: Fig and fleshy black fruits (blackberry, currants and plum) Nuances of spice in terms of pepper and oak related spice works its way into the fleshy sweet fruit bringing around a touch of savoury elements. It’s a rich bouquet of full bodied Shiraz, gutsy and full of power right from the get go. It resembles everything about the new world of Shiraz right in the glass. (From its sweet fruit down to the spice that this wine variety loves to give off) You can feel before this wine hits your palate that this is a wine that will be a powerhouse.
Palate: Big and rich, quite savoury too, rather than fruit driven. I was struck with Olive, tobacco and dark chocolate upfront. Bold; it occupies the whole mouth. Suck this wine through your teeth and you start to pick out nuances of green peppercorns. A very herbaceous wine upfront, but alas, it indeed does tail off and the fleshy fruit makes its return in the form of dark plum and blackberry with green pepper, almost like a pepper sauce just sitting in your mouth endlessly.
It is a big wine, and it does not need dominating tannins to make it feel big. It is quite exceptional and I think with a bit of age will possibly become more delicate, as the wine begins to mellow down without a high tannin presence.
This is another exceptional James Brazill. It’s extremely bold now, yet, I am certain in 12 years’ time, this wine will begin to have a distinctive elegance behind it. Such a brute of a wine that will find its path of redemption with Gods guidance, and without a doubt be a standout wine from a fantastic vintage. It is so comforting right now, and with a hearty stew it would be a Heavenly match for that cold night. But, this will be a very different and elegant wine 15 years from now showcasing why Shiraz is one of the best varietals in being able to showcase aging wines in the bottle.
Drink: Now to 2034
The SA Wine Guy