Spinifex of the Barossa Valley is one of the most impressive 'new comers' of Australian wine. Established in 2001, Spinifex is still very much viewed as 'a new kid on the block' given the long history of many of its Barossa counterparts.
Spinifex is the project of New Zealand-born Peter Schell, a Roseworthy graduate who had spent several vintages working in the south of France prior to establishing Spinifex. Given his time working in southern France, a focus on Shiraz, Grenache, Mataro and Cinsault was hardly surprising.
The wine, naturally fermented with a judicious use of whole clusters (on average 30%) in a combination of stainless steel, wood and concrete fermenters, also sees a shorter maturation than the Esprit and Bête Noir, et al. The 2018 was cropped from five high, exposed parcels in the Barossa and Eden Valley, where the soils are generally poor and skeletal - for the most part light, gravelly and silty sands over deeply weathered base rocks of varied origins. Vine age varies from 25 to 115 years old (averaging 50 years old), and all fruit is hand harvested.
Wild and savoury yet soft and sumptuous, this is Barossa Shiraz unlike we usually see it. Interesting, flavour-packed and more-ish. Another winner from this superstar winemaker.
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