Well it is that time of the year again – around Easter each year the Scarce Earth wines are getting ready for their 1st May release. So what I hear you say is the Scarce Earth Project all about? Well it is all about Shiraz and Shiraz in it’s purest form. McLaren Vale is know for producing excellent Shiraz but there is no such thing as a typical McLaren Vale Shiraz because of the varied geology/soil types as well as the different climates. Previously there has been attempts to classify sub regions of McLaren Vale – with various levels of success. Now with the release of the Geology Map of McLaren Vale vineyards can be classified by their various soil and rock types. The Scarce Earth Project is all about showing single vineyard Shiraz and being able to link the vineyard back to the geology type. Then the brief is for minimalistic winemaking practices (particularly minimal oak influences) this way the Shiraz fruit can shine through and then the differences should reflect the differences in the geology and climate.
Not everybody is convinced but I find it interesting to taste wines from various vineyards almost next to each other and marvel on how different they can be. Also I can see this concept being a way to showcase McLaren Vale Shiraz and that has got to be a good thing.
Anyway here are some of the wines with ore to follow next time.
Cradle of Hills Row 23 Shiraz ($45)
Aromas of cold tea and lavender make this an unusual offering from this group. The lavender continues onto the palate with some really good fruit definition along with a hint of fruit sweetness and an envelope of tannins that brings all the flavours together.
Fork in the Road Shiraz ($39)
After missing out in 2011 it is good to see Joan’s vineyard back again. I enjoyed the fruit definition with lots of dried sage with lingering effect.
d’Arenberg Tyche’s Mustard Single Vineyard Shiraz ($99)
Quite aromatic with lots of pepper. I thought the fruit was a little short on the back palate and a green stalky flavour that I do not enjoy.
d’Arenberg The Eight Iron Single Vineyard Shiraz ($99)
This wine is all about the bold strong palate structure with the plum and chocolate one expects from McLaren Vale Shiraz with just a hint of green stalkyness.
d’Arenberg The Amaranthine Single Vineyard Shiraz ($99)
My favourite of the 3 dArry wines with a purple hue with a balance of tannins and ripe fruit and chocolate.
Shingleback Unedited Shiraz ($70)
A wine with strength and elegance with both red and black fruits showing through. Each taste of this wine left me wanting more – certainly a good recommendation.
Maxwell Wines Eocene Ancient Earth Shiraz ($45)
Aromas of limestone or slate with loads of red fruits. The flavours keep on with the red fruits – it is almost juicy on the front and balanced but drying tannins on the finish. This wine screams out to be consumed with food – bring on some pork spare ribs.