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 sites that do have the X-factor. The Windmill Block at Stonewell in the Barossa Valley is one, lying within a larger vineyard that has provided the backbone for many of Two Hands’ best wines. It is always one of the first blocks to ripen and typically makes magical, dense, velvety textured wines. 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.
A lifted and fragrant melange of red and black fruits, florals, fruitcake and a splash of savoury earthy nuance; the palate is lively and fresh, with the red fruit highlights and fresh acidity really driving the palate; long, fresh and poised, whilst providing a hedonistic mouthful of wine.
94 Points, Ben Edwards, WineCompanion
Almost old school on the nose, with a decidedly rustic aromatic profile of tapenade, dried aged prime beef, lavender, and pepper, as well as lifted aromas of plum and raspberry styled fruits, the 2009 Two Hands Shiraz 'Windmill Block' Single Vineyard Seppeltsfield is full bodied on the palate and beautifully textured, showing racy acidity, big structure, and a long, tannic finish. All of the components are here, but this needs cellar time to bring it all together. I would give bottles 3-5 years before checking back in, at which point, I think this will have a long drink window.
92+ points, Jeb Dunnuck (June 2011)
Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2009 “Windmill Block” Shiraz offers a refreshingly elegant expression of the Barossa. It presents fragrant aromas of fresh black currants and crushed blackberries over cedar, toast, tree bark, earth and Indian spices. Medium bodied, taut and muscular in the mouth, it provides a great backbone of very crisp acidity and a medium level of grainy tannins, finishing long and pure. It should drink best 2014 to 2022+.
94 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate (December 2011)
Opaque purple. Assertively perfumed aromas of cassis, violet, white pepper and apricot, complicated by musky spices and a sexy note of toasty oak. Ripe and velvety in texture but also elegant and well-balanced, with intense dark berry and spicecake flavors firmed by dusty tannins. Juicy and deep but there's surprising vivacity to this big boy. Finishes with excellent clarity and lingering notes of cassis and spice. This was raised in one-year old barrels.
94 points, Josh Raynolds, Vinous (July 2011)
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.