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.
Impenetrable colour; thick, dark, dense chewy and massive in every respect; there is a little lack of freshness in the wine; inky fruit, with prune-like intensity; thick and tannic, with bitter chocolate providing some relief from the overwhelming intensity on the palate; if you like them big, then this is for you.
94 Points, James Halliday, Wine Companion
The single vineyard wines begin with the 2007 Shiraz Barney’s Block McMurtrie Road in McLaren Vale. It was aged in 50% new French oak for 20 months. Opaque purple-colored, it offers up a captivating nose of sandalwood, incense, lavender, bacon, and blueberry. Velvety-textured, layered, and opulent (a rarity in this vintage), it has enough fine-grained tannin to evolve for 3-4 years. This lengthy effort has a drinking window extending to 2027.
92 points, Jay Miller, December 2009
Glass-staining ruby. Intensely perfumed bouquet of red- and blackcurrant, cherry-cola, tobacco, licorice and cocoa powder. Fleshy, palate-staining dark berry flavors are enlivened by juicy acidity and framed by velvety tannins. Turns sweeter on the finish, which features plush blueberry and floral pastille qualities and a strong kick of smoky Indian spices.
Polished, generous and beautifully focused, playing its blueberry, plum and currant fruit against hints of leather and licorice, remaining sweet and refined through the open-weave, airy finish.
94 points, Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator (October 2009)