THE PLAYGROUND $6 MILLION EDEN VALLEY SHIRAZ 2011
Eden Valley…high altitude…2011, a cooler, wetter year than ever known…’Spog’ Forrest’s Shiraz…late March…fruit at 10 baumé and losing the battle with mould…a vineyard barely alive. Enter Kym Teusner…”Gentlemen. We can rebuild this Shiraz. We have the technology. We have the fruit and the capability to make a Shiraz that will have those cool climate loving, skinny jean wearing, beard growing hipsters doing donuts on their Vespas. Spog’s Shiraz will be that wine. Different to what it was last year….spicier…more north Rhone….less south Rhone.
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Eden Valley…high altitude…2011, a cooler, wetter year than ever known…’Spog’ Forrest’s Shiraz…late March…fruit at 10 baumé and losing the battle with mould…a vineyard barely alive. Enter Kym Teusner…”Gentlemen. We can rebuild this Shiraz. We have the technology. We have the fruit and the capability to make a Shiraz that will have those cool climate loving, skinny jean wearing, beard growing hipsters doing donuts on their Vespas. Spog’s Shiraz will be that wine. Different to what it was last year….spicier…more north Rhone….less south Rhone.”
“When things are going as pear shaped as they were in the Eden Valley late in the 2011 vintage, it’s usually hasta la vista baby, the fruit stays on the vine and we move on. But walking through tasting this crop, it looked strangely spectacular, very reminiscent of the northern Rhone Shiraz…loads of dark pepper, spice and olives. So then and there the decision was made to have a crack at the Barossa’s first 10° baumé Shiraz! In went the harvesters to pick the fruit…. also venturing into a patch of Viognier reckoning the extra richness and aroma from a splash could be handy. The fruit was crushed straight to the press and straight away half the juicewas run off, increasing the skin to juice ratio to concentrate flavour and intensify color. The separated juice was shipped off to a mates place to be subjected it to all sorts of stuff to remove as much liquid as possible…and we got it back to the winery at a whopping 960gms per liter of residual sugar…pretty much sugar syrup which when added back to the ferment increased the baumé to around 14°. By the time we pressed the ferment, we were left with about half the wine volume we’d normally expect. 18 months sitting around in somenice shiny new Radoux oak and hey presto, we have a beautifully balanced cool climate styled Barossa Shiraz. Maybe we should have entered it in the Jimmy…?”
KYM TEUSNER, BIGGEST KID IN THE PLAYGROUND
“’Each year we monkeys are presented with small parcels of interesting stuff we just can’t resist playing with’, explains the back label, adding ‘the quantities are so small the wines are only sold at the cellar door’. The raspberry and cherry aromas are unusual, the light to medium-bodied palate, with a complex open-weave texture and structure, fits the bill.”
93 POINTS, JAMES HALLIDAY’S AUSTRALIAN WINE COMPANION, July 26, 2014
I shave every morning, am several months away from being able to fit into skinny jeans and cringe at the idea that someone might refer to me as a hipster…but the truth of the matter is that my current vinous preferences aren’t that different from what seems to be in vogue at the more meaningful wine shows in Australia. Meaningful to the extent that the results are less scattergun and a quick look at the judges make the medals and awards interpretable. I’m not convinced you can ask for much more than that. Anyway, in short Teusner have hit their target market by sending me this wine. It’s thoroughly regional. Typically spicy with boysenberry, violets and raspberry. No sign of grubby wet vintage fruit. A splash of Viognier is obvious in terms of mouthfeel, tannin and aromatics but there isn’t any stonefruit flavour – or much in the way of slipperiness. Enough flesh to envelop the cool climate acidity. Quite savoury and complex with herbs, black olives, roast peppers and brown leaf. Lots of firm and fine tannin. Only just medium-bodied. It’s an elegant, angular wine that takes time to unfold. Looked its best on day three. I can’t see everyone loving what it offers but I was captivated…albeit beardless and lacking a beret.
91+ POINTS,Jeremy Pringle, www.winewilleatitself.com.au, December 27, 2013
Kym Teusner’s Playground it is; six million dollars it is not. Capturing the best of a tricky cool, wet season, it’s enticing in an unexpected way, reflecting a savoury, peppery style of fine-boned texture in a mood not dissimilar to Crozes-Hermitage.
93 POINTS, Tyson Stelzer, Barossa Living, Autumn 2014
Medium to deep red colour with slight purple tints. Green walnut aromas, minty herbaceousness, spices, fruitcake and some sappy oak. The wine is medium-bodied at most, with savoury dryness on the palate helped by soft, fine-grained tannins. It’s not very fresh, but has flavour, balance and adequate softness.
87 POINTS, Huon Hooke, huonhooke.com, 16/2/14