Presenting an exceptional balance between almost flagrant fruit intensity and its lingering savoury finish, this wonderfully concentrated and elegant Shiraz offers a perfume of violets, sweet scents of animal hide and freshly turned earth, intense cassis, dark cherries and black plums. Musky and exotic, its smooth, polished palate delivers dark, penetrative Shiraz flavours framed by fine tannins and tight acidity. Exceptional. 96 points, Jeremy Oliver, jeremyoliver.com (2004).
A lovely, interesting wine. Bright and lively, with ripe black cherries on a bed of graphite and chocolate. Everything seems perfectly positioned: the fruit, the tannin, the interest, the savoury control. The Roussanne is diminishing, the floral steeliness weaving through the wine. A very fine wine. 92 points, Campbell Mattinson, WineFront (2005).
Located in the foothills of the Victorian Alps, Beechworth is a small cool climate region with high continentality. The vineyards enjoy a large number of sunshine hours and are generally planted at altitudes of 400m. A variety of soil types are found with the two dominant ones being ancient sandstone gravel and clay and granitic loams over decomposed gravels and clays. While north or north-easterly slopes are generally favoured, the best sites are located away from higher altitude, cold-air drainage channels, with the risk of frost high in both spring and autumn. Restricted water availability means most vineyards are dry-grown. A region of small boutique producers, Beechworth is best known for premium Chardonnay, Shiraz and Pinot Noir, although plantings of Italian varieties including Sangiovese and Nebbiolo also show great promise.