Two Hands’ Single Vineyard wines take regionality to a high level by focussing on sites that justify individual treatment by consistently producing wines of distinctive style with particular qualities. They are simply named after the block, the road or the township they come from. Here’s Joe Czerwinski, writing for the important U.S. publication Wine Advocate: ‘Two Hands is making a collection of Shirazes that may be unrivalled in the world for expressing the places where they're grown... Tasting through the lineup is a fabulous exercise in seeing how Shiraz reflects its place’.
Hands-on proprietor Michael Twelftree has identified key vineyards, or areas within vineyards, that have the X-factor. Barney’s Block on McMurtrie Road in McLaren Vale is one. This small production wine is handled separately, from crushing and fermentation through to oak maturation, with the decision on every barrel’s ultimate destination left until six months after vintage, when each one is assessed (and may be declassified if it fails to meet this wine’s high standards). With minimum intervention in the winery and discreet use of oak, the aim is to give character of place the best possible chance to assert itself.
Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2010 Barney’s Block Shiraz has a complex earthy/meaty, faintly floral nose with a good core of warm black berries, chocolate and anise. Big, full bodied and opulent in the mouth, it has a medium to firm level of rounded tannins and harmonious acidity with the spice layers and chocolate really coming through in the long and layered finish. Approachable now, it should drink best 2014 to 2024+.
94+ Points, Lisa Perotti-Brown, Wine Advocate
Ripe and voluptuous, the 2010 Two Hands Shiraz Barney's Block McLaren Vale is knockout stuff that delivers a serious, mineral-laced aromas of raspberry liqueur, smoked meats, crushed flowers, milk chocolate, and spice cabinet on the nose. Not holding much back, this full-bodied, powerful effort has a voluptuous texture, loads of fruit, and an overall silky, perfectly balanced profile that has nothing out of place. Gorgeous all around and a beautiful mix of richness and elegance, this beauty will shine for upwards of 2 decades.
95 points, Jeb Dunnuck (June 2012)
Dark purple. Deeply pitched aromas of dark berries, cherry compote and licorice, with a smoky topnote. Lush, palate-coating blackberry and boysenberry flavors show excellent intensity and pick up an exotic floral nuance with air. Closes with superb energy and focus, leaving sweet dark fruit notes behind.
Focused, juicy, fresh and inviting, brimming with blueberry, plum and clove flavors that show a hint of sizzling bacon and come together harmoniously and expressively. A big wine, but not overwhelming, persisting impressively on the finish.
95 points, Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator (November 2012)