McLaren Vale Wines – Scarce Earth Project Shiraz Part 2


Welcome to my second part where I am tasting the 2009 McLaren Vale Scarce Earth Project Shiraz.  Check out my first part here.

2009 Shingleback Unedited Rare Earth Shiraz ($70)

Only 1250 bottles produces from this wine and of course they are only available from the cellar door located on the entrance to McLaren Vale.

Straight away one can sense a dark strength here and the aromas just showed this theme with dark Satsuma Plums and blackberries with a strong (but balanced) cedar from the good use of fine grained French oak.  Interestingly for me, I did not get the pepper and spice I was expecting.  Maybe this character was being masked by the oak derived cedar notes.  The flavors have 3 distinct components.  Firstly, the dark and intense berries.  Second, the oak strength that also shows up with the distinctive Mocha character.  Thirdly, the warming effect of the high alcohol.  The charm of the wine does not really come from these components, but from how well they come together.  Each element does not over awe the other – the high alcohol is not obvious as the fruit is so strong, the fruit soaks up the generous level of oak and the oak helps carry off the alcohol.

As expected this wine opened up with time in the glass so letting the wine breathe will definitely repay the drinker for the time spent.  Speaking of time – yes, time in the bottle would also be good.  This wine has the strength to carry off 10+ years of cellaring.

2009 Brash Higgins SHZ McLaren Vale Shiraz ($37)

This wine is currently for tasting at the Fall From Grace establishment in the Main Street of McLaren Vale.

Brash Higgins is a new venture of Brad Hickey and this is the first wine released from this new and exciting label.  The grapes for this wine come from the Thorpe Wines vineyard that has been recently named Omensetter Vineyard.  This vineyard, on the corner of California Road and Malpas Road must be a great patch of dirt, as the vineyard produces most of the raw product for Thorpe Wines.  The character I can only describe as iodine comes through in spades from the vineyard and this wine.  There is plenty of fruit character on the nose and the flavors, interestingly I get red fruits as well as black fruits.  Iodine and fruits mix well with the expected spices and musk.  The flavors scream strength with some wonderful layered tannins combining with the spiced fruits.  One of the tannin layers dries the teeth so well!  I can see this wine lasting a long long time, but as usual I do not think it will last that long.

2009 Five Geese McLaren Vale Reserve Shiraz ($48)

This wine is currently for tasting at the Fall From Grace establishment in the Main Street of McLaren Vale.

So far this is my favorite from the 2009 McLaren Vale Scarce Earth Project.  The vineyard is situated on the rolling slopes of Blewitt Springs (a sub region of the McLaren Vale region).  I have had wines from this label before.  The grape grower is Sur Trott and the wines are made at Boar’s Rock under the watchful eye of Mike Farmilo.  Aromas consisting of an infusion of berries, pepper and star anise wrapped up in an earthy and peaty envelope.  Flavors of black fruits, star anise mixed with soft tannins that show considerable depth.  The finish was not only lengthy, but mouth filling with a rare intensity.

Sure this wine is fantastic drinking now, but give it a few years of life in the bottle and you will be rewarded with the perfect match with a slab of roast beef.

The Five Geese website can be found here.

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About Lonely Grape

Passionate about wine - particularly McLaren Vale wines. Check out my blog on different winery reviews and my wine sales web site
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