Circe Utopies Shiraz, Grampians
The inaugural 2015 vintage of the Utopies was very well received, with Mike Bennie describing it as 'a belter.' And little wonder. The wine is a collaboration between Circe and Nowhere Creek. The winemaker calling the shots is Dan Buckle, the senior winemaker at Domaine Chandon. The fruit is sourced from the same vineyard that supplies Mount Langi Ghiran. The wine is an exploration of Grampians terroir and revels in the discovery of what this region can do in the right hands.
"Dense, deep colour; resplendent with the power and depth of its dark/black fruit flavours, liquorice and spice, oak and tannins wrapped in the folds of the fruit, its balance underwriting a wine with its future measured in decades, not years."
97 points, James Halliday, December 2017.
"Utopies is a collaboration between Circe and Nowhere Creek. This is Grampians Shiraz in all its glory.
This is an explosion of goodness. It’s both enormously fruity and enormously spicy, and it lays a keen meatiness on too. It tastes of liquorice and violets, blackberry jam and woodsmoke, and has dry spice and deli meat characters jumping throughout. Tannin is ultra fine-grained. Length is excellent. I tasted this wine in among a large number of others and it stood out from the pack; it’s that kind of wine."
95 points, Mike Bennie, March 2018.
The GrampiansLocated in western Central Victoria, the Grampians was settled during the gold rush of the 1850’s. Indeed the vivid history of the gold rush is inextricably intertwined with the history of viticulture in the region. Seppelt at Great Western, one of the region’s iconic wineries was built at the end of the gold rush when scores of out-of-work prospectors excavated its extensive drives and cellars. The "drives" completed in 1932, stretch for three kilometres and provide perfect conditions for the maturation of sparkling wine, for which the region is well-known. The climate of the Grampians is Mediterranean and essentially cool with vineyards situated at elevations ranging from 240 to 350m. The region experiences long sunshine hours and low rainfall necessitating supplementary irrigation. Soils in the region range from weathered volcanic soils to sandy and red clay loams interspersed with ironstone. The region is suited to a diverse range of varietals including Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon but is best known for its crisp fruity Riesling and distinctive spicy peppery Shiraz.