Avatar Grenache Mataro Shiraz 2016
In 2002, our first vintage, we made one wine…an unoaked GMS blend we called Joshua. With that wine selling out quickly, we decided to have a crack at releasing a second wine from the vintage, a different take on the original blend and aged in old seasoned oak for 12 months. Loosely interpreted, Avatar can mean ‘transformation’…so a pretty good moniker for a wine we fondly refer to as the older brother for our Josh’.
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“Whilst Shiraz might be the poster boy for the Barossa, we believe blending it with Grenache and Mataro produces the best drinking wines from this region.
Thanks to our good mates the Riebke brothers and other Barossa growers whose families have stuck by these varieties for the past 100 years or more, we’re privileged to have fruit from very old vines to make our GMS blends. In 2002, our first vintage, we made one wine…an unoaked GMS blend we called Joshua. With that wine selling out quickly, we decided to have a crack at releasing a second wine from the vintage, a different take on the original blend and aged in old seasoned oak for 12 months. Loosely interpreted, Avatar can mean ‘transformation’…so a pretty good moniker for a wine we fondly refer to as the older brother for our Josh’.
The blend percentages for Avatar might change each vintage, but the recipe doesn’t vary much…Grenache (about 50% in 2013) for spice and bright red fruits, Mataro (30%) for some savoury earthiness and depth….Shiraz (20%) for plump plum and rich black fruit. The time in oak…and the choice of old seasoned oak…ensures it serves only as a seasoning to add complexity and savoury nuance. With vines this old, we want the fruit and earth to speak with the clearest voice.
KYM TEUSNER, WINEMAKER
“Well named: the Barossa Valley origin of this Grenache Mataro Shiraz blend would not be easy to differentiate from top end McLaren Vale examples. Spiced plum, blackberry, and a contrasting nuance of savoury/ earthy notes from the mataro provide backbone; all come together perfectly.”
95 points, Campbell Mattinson, James Halliday’s Australian Wine Companion 2015
“Red and black fruits, earth, hard brown spices, some licorice, menthol and new leather – floral too – has plenty going on, even if I’m imaging some of it. Medium bodied, fine grained plush tannin, chocolate and mixed berries, fleshy feel with well settled acidity and, the important bit, heaps good balance and drinking appeal. These blends are what the Barossa does best, and all things considered, also offer the best value. ”
94 points, Gary Walsh, The Wine Front, November 2014
“Deep red/purple colour. Rich, ripe dark berry and chocolate aromas. The palate is rich and fleshy, soft and medium to full-bodied, with ample fine-grained, supple tannins. It’s lovely now, but age will surely bring out interesting complexities.”
92 points, Huon Hooke, huonhooke.com, 7th March 2015
92 POINTS, JEREMY OLIVER, JEREMYOLIVER.COM
“Medium garnet-purple colored, the 2013 Avatar, a Grenache, Mataro and Shiraz blend, has a beautiful nose of kirsch, warm mulberries, potpourri and powdered cinnamon with hints of Szechuan pepper and allspice. Medium to full-bodied, it offers surprising elegance in the mouth, with good fruit intensity matched by freshness and silky tannins, finishing long and spicy. ”
91 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown, eRobertParker.com, June 30 2015
“The folks in the Barossa Valley call Avatar the big brother to Joshua….Grenache at 40 percent still dominates the blend. The finish is juicy and long, suggesting it will age well through 2020.”
91 points, Anthony Gismondi, Vancouver Sun, Feb 28, 2015
“Nuanced scent with both sweet plum, dark cherry and crushed red berries, all seasoned with Christmas spices, pepper and tobacco, the taste is a nice concentration and extraction soft, fine tannins, warm and round fruit, preserved freshness and a long balanced finish.”
91 points, Andreas Larsson, Livets Goda 2015
“This classic Barossa blend of grenache, mataró and shiraz, aged in seasoned oak barrels provides delicious, savory drinking today but is a wine that will continue to improve over the medium term. Detailed aromas of dark blackberries and plums, Asian spices, veal jus, pepper, earth and mocha oak. The aromas carry over onto the palate that, whilst savory and spicy, seems a little muted when compared to the vibrant, juicy lines of its unoaked brother, the Teusner Joshua. Drink now.”
90 points, James Suckling, January 27th 2015