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The Best's Great Western Thomson Family Shiraz is the apex wine of this famous winery. The 15 rows of ancient vines that contribute to this wine were planted in 1868 by founder and Victorian wine pioneer, Henry Best. The wine is only released in the finest vintages, having been made only nine times in the last two decades. It receives the royal treatment from winemaker Justin Purser and co. The fruit is hand picked and ferment in small batches then married to the finest oak. The intent is to create a wine that tells the tale of these old stalwart vines. Something that will age gracefully for decades to come. The 2014 was named the James Halliday Wine of the Year and was already sold out at the time of the award. 2015 is an excellent follow-up and is available in only minuscule amounts. Act quickly to secure your own allocation.
What it Tastes Like
"Picked from fifteen rows of the original 1868 plantings. Boysenberry, raspberry, fresh picked blackberry, black pepper, mint, nougat, sandalwood and toasty oak. Medium bodied, nutty and spicy, has the tartness of just ripe blackberry, and a similar flavour, dusty and spicy tannin, hazelnut and chocolate, and something briary and more salty/savoury, almost earthy, rolling through on the long finish. Obviously very young. More to come." - Gary Walsh (The Wine Front)
98 points "The colour is fractionally lighter and more youthful than Bin No. 0, but takes the keynote of intensity onto another level. Attention to detail in the vineyard throughout the growing season, and in the winery from the first juice to flow from the berries to the end of the bottling line are all reflected here. There is a total fusion of complex fruits, of licorice, spice and pepper sidelights, of fine, yet ripe, tannins that come from very old vines, and French oak, the texture running lengthways and sideways, but never breaking line. Old vine wines like this make a mockery of vintage charts." - James Halliday (Australian Wine Companion) 97 points. "Henry Best’s original 15 rows of 1868 plantings yield just 300 cases of this deeply exotic shiraz, layered with black cherry and dark berry fruit and the exotic spice and supple tannins that can only come from grand, ancient vines. It propagates with exceptional persistence, at once full and complete and at the same time effortless and elegant. Profound." - Tyson Stelzer (Tyson Stelzer's Australian and New Zealand Wines of the Year 2017) 94+ points. "Picked from fifteen rows of the original 1868 plantings. Boysenberry, raspberry, fresh picked blackberry, black pepper, mint, nougat, sandalwood and toasty oak. Medium bodied, nutty and spicy, has the tartness of just ripe blackberry, and a similar flavour, dusty and spicy tannin, hazelnut and chocolate, and something briary and more salty/savoury, almost earthy, rolling through on the long finish. Obviously very young. More to come." - Gary Walsh (The Wine Front)
Thomson Family Shiraz The Thomson Centenary Shiraz was created in 1993, to celebrate the centenary of the Thomson family’s settling in the area of Great Western. A special single vineyard wine, it was made from the 15 rows of the original 1868 Shiraz vines, planted by Henry Best, and once referred to as ‘Hermitage’ in Henry’s daily journal. Today, this wine is only made in the very best vintage years and is called Thomson Family Shiraz. It has been made nine times in 20 years and has become a highly collectible and sought-after wine. The 15 rows of original vines produce only very small amounts of fruit, cropped at less than two tonnes per acre (four tonnes per hectare) and then meticulously hand-harvested, selected and sorted. Only approximately 300 cases of our flagship wine are released in our very ‘best’ years. The vines are referred to by the CSIRO as the Concongella clone and it is the mother clone of all subsequent Shiraz plantings at Best’s Great Western.
Closure: Screw Cap
Bottle Size: 750ml
Drink Until: 2045
About the Producer
Best's Great Western
Best’s is one of the oldest owned family wineries in the country. They are famous for having a “nursery block” housing some of the oldest clonal material for particular varieties anywhere in the world.
Their wines are consistently excellent and they have a vineyard which is envied by much of the wine growing world. With a rich history and an illustrious past, this Victorian icon is one of the true treasures of the Australian wine scene.
History runs deep in Great Western. Some of the country’s oldest, most iconic producers have made a home for themselves here in the far West of Victoria. Shiraz and Riesling are the region’s most iconic varieties, but if you dig a little deeper, amazing examples of Pinot Meunier and other alternative varieties are waiting to be found. These are warm climate wines that maintain class and prestige.
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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