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. Wazza’s Block on Seppeltsfield Road in the Barossa Valley is one -- a small part of a vineyard hidden behind the famous Seppeltsfield palm trees. The wine combines concentration of black fruits with spice, supported by muscular brawny tannin. The small production 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 2014 Shiraz Wazza's Block has a wonderfully savory nose of Marmite toast, Bovril and aged meat over a black currant, black plum and licorice core with a waft of incense. Full-bodied, rich and decadent, the tannins are wonderfully fine and there is plenty of freshness here to lift the palate and extend the layers to a very long finish.
94+ Points, Lisa Perotti-Brown, Wine Advocate
Lurid ruby. Ripe blueberry, cherry and exotic spices on the powerfully scented nose, joined by a smoky nuance and a hint of vanilla as the wine opens up. Smooth and deeply concentrated, offering sweet black and blue fruit flavors complemented by suggestions of cracked pepper, violet and licorice. Finishes alluringly sweet and extremely long, featuring a spicy jolt of cracked pepper and building florality; supple tannins come in late.
The stated alcohol gives no clear indication of the wine. This is dark, squishy and super intense, the boom of berries pushing flavour to the limits of freshness, but not beyond. It works, like magic, like escapism, like a world unto itself.
95 points, Campbell Mattinson (December 2015)
Colonel William Light, the South Australian colony’s Surveyor-General, named the Barossa in 1837 after the site of an English victory over the French in the Spanish Peninsular War. In the mid-1800’s Silesian and English immigrants settled in the area. The Barossa itself comprises two distinct sub-regions: Eden Valley and the warmer Barossa Valley floor at 270m.The Barossa Valley enjoys a warm Mediterranean climate characterised by hot dry summers and relatively low rainfall. Cool sea breezes from the Gulf of St Vincent modify the temperature, however hot northerly winds can occasionally dominate creating considerable vine stress. Many older established vineyards are dry-grown, but supplementary irrigation is also extensively used. The valley is comprised of rich brown soils and alluvial sands. A long history of uninterrupted viticulture in the area means the Barossa valley is home to Australia’s largest concentration of old-vine Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvedre with many over 100 years old. Although most famous for Shiraz, the Barossa can also produce fragrant and deliciously fruity Grenache blends and beautifully rich, chocolatey Cabernet Sauvignons.