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Spinifex are one of the pioneers of the ‘new Barossa’ producer.
Husband and wife team of Peter Schell and Magali Gely have extensive winemaking experience in the south of France, which proves the inspiration for their unique wines made from predominantly Rhone varietals.
Unlike many of Spinifex’s wines though, ‘Bete Noir’ is 100% varietal, in this case, Shiraz. But unlike many big and bold Barossa Shiraz, with 30% of the fruit coming from the Barossa’s cooler neighbour Eden Valley this wine has remarkable perfume, elegance and balance.
This has a distinctive ‘old world’ feel with the vibrancy of South Australian fruit. A wine with an impeccable track record for a true Shiraz connoisseur.
What It Tastes Like
There is a dense core of blackberry and currant fruit framed by a savoury, field mushroom character on the nose. The spice from the Eden fruit is on show but not intrusive. Slinky and mooreish tannins and gorgeous mouth-filling fruit. I could drink this every day.
95 points “Sometimes I try and imagine what wines from the Barossa used to look like in ye olde days, as young wines, and it often comes to mind that the style might just be a little like this – unforced, but fully accepting of the sunshine, generosity and warmth of the region, a touch of savouriness, but freshness too. A style a step away from the steroidal misuse of some of Australia’s best vineyard assets. Vines here, across twelve vineyards, range in age from 60 to 120 years old. A portion of whole bunch is used in ferments and only 25% new oak for maturation.
Indian ink stains of dark berry, ripe plum, tobacco, coal and sweet-savoury herbal character. It’s powerful in its perfume, assured in its passing through the mouth, generous, deep and sumptuous, but finds finesse through tannins that gently pucker. There’s an assuredness to the wine, concentration, yet a kind of finesse. It drinks superbly, richly, but freshly. Savouriness is the lingering message. A beauty.”
- Mike Bennie (The Wine Front)
Winemaker notes: Twelve Barossa vineyards were the source for 2014 Bete Noir Shiraz. Vineyard age ranges from between 25 and 130 years, with 60 years being a fair average across the blend. Vineyards are located across a variety of the the Barossa’s sub regions, the Eastern Foothills, Moppa, Moculta, and Eden Valley all contributing. All vineyards are owned and farmed by old Barossa families who have a deep pride and connection with their land and the Valley. Shiraz in the Barossa Valley is a cultivar particularly affected by harvest maturity, 2-3 days of additional time left on the vine can make a huge difference to its fruit expression and balance, both positive or negative, and consequently we invest a lot of time in our Shiraz vineyards prior to find what we hope is the best point of balance for harvest. Each vineyard is hand harvested and around 25-50 % of bunches are retained within ferments, with the balance only being destemmed. Fermentations are undertaken in small open stainless steel and oak open fermenters with indigenous yeasts. Macerations vary by parcel and range from between 9 and 28 days. Young wines are left on lees in a selection of new and seasoned oak vessels, ranging in size from between 225 l and 3100 l, approximately 25 % being first use, for 16-18 months prior to assemblage. Bete is bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Closure: Screw Cap
Bottle Size: 750ml
Drink Until: 2025
About the Producer
Spinifex is one of the undercover jewels of the Barossa Valley. Husband and wife team Peter Schell & Magali Gely have extensive experience in southern France, which proves the inspiration for their unique wines made from predominantly Rhone varietals.
Spinifex was on the front line of the new wave of Barossa producers. Peter’s wines brought a new sensibility to the region, they were lower in alcohol, concentrated but elegant, and balanced to perfection. He takes the art of blending into the realm of the virtuoso. There are few wineries who deliver refinement and poise from the Barossa Valley like Spinifex.
The Barossa has a big reputation. Big in every sense of the word. Known for producing blockbusting examples of impenetrable old vine Shiraz and Grenache envied by much of the world, it is a region that should be celebrated as the region that first put Australian wine on the map. Now, with a new generation of winemakers reinventing the region, there’s more than just power in the Barossa’s bag of tricks. With a move toward picking earlier and pulling back on oak maturation, there’s a fresher, more subtle side to Barossa wine which offers plenty to the modern Australian wine lover.
Long held up to the rest of the world as Australia’s flagship red variety, the mighty Australian Shiraz has undergone something of a renaissance over the past two decades. While our robust styles of Shiraz from powerhouse South Australian regions such as the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale may have put Australian wine on the map, Shiraz from our cooler regions are giving the variety a new look. Wines from Canberra, all parts of Victoria, the Adelaide Hills, and the Great Southern, are all delivering wines of finesse and spice set to a lighter framework. The tapestry of Australian Shiraz is richly diverse, and will only continue to develop and mature into the future.
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