Winemaker: Dan Standish
This is my second collaboration with Dan Standish, and follows on from the bunchy, Campariesque 2015 ‘An Ill Wind’ Mataro Grenache, most of which has been sold through selected local restaurants.
Dan is well known as former chief winemaker at Torbreck and should be even better known for his Standish wines, which without exception are defined by a relentless search for perfection.
Dan’s wines have evolved over the years into very pure expressions of singular Barossa sites. The evolution of style and increasing finesse parallels his ongoing pursuit of international vinous knowledge and understanding. Dan and Nicole are rarely seen drinking anything but great Burgundy or Northern Rhone; Dan’s exposure to the greatest wines of the world has modified his thought patterns about ripeness and winemaking, especially in regard to whole clusters, and reductive working of lees.
Shiraz from our vineyard was picked on the 5th March 2017 at about 12.5 Baume.
Whole bunches were refrigerated for 48 hours before being foot stomped and cool-fermented without inoculation. Maturation on gross lees in Noblot concrete egg followed. The wine was only racked to bottle.
The earlier picking has resulted in intense blue fruit characters and lifted savoury aromatics that had us all thinking Saint-Joseph. The lees contact has contributed a remarkable textural creaminess. Far removed from the Barossa Shiraz stereotype, fruit sweetness is wound right back, and without any American or French oak contribution, the wine is a very pure expression of the vineyard.
The usual Otherness musical analogy follows: ‘The Tristan Chord’ is one of the most famous single chords in the history of music. Occurring in the second bar of the Prelude of Wagner’s ‘Tristan und Isolde,’ (and many times within the opera thereafter) it is often claimed that the dissonance within the chord, in the context of its surrounding tonality, ushered in the beginnings of modernity in music. Whether or not that’s an overstatement, there is no denying that the chord suggests a sense of deep ‘yearning’ and ‘longing’. It’s application to this wine? To me, many Barossa wines made from Shiraz feel very resolved. Sweet and simple, they often appear to be gravity bound in the way they pool in the lower parts of the mouth. I seek out wines that, as a function of their natural acidity feel less resolved. In the same way that the dissonance in the Tristan chord avoids immediate resolution, I enjoy wines that hold a tension, nervousness, and sense of anxiety. I hope that the earlier picking date, the retention of natural acidity and Dan’s sensitive winemaking conspire to provide a delicious, thought-provoking experience.
800 bottles produced