The Jimmy Watson Winner: Bests Bin 1 Shiraz 2011
14%, Screwcap, $25
This wine officially won the Jimmy Watson trophy (and 2 others) at the 2012 Royal Melbourne Wine Show last night. I tasted it a few months back but never quite published the notes. Seems the right time for it…
If anything this is a very atypical Bin 1 – it has a lovely purple colour to it that is bright, if not quite as deep as the 2010. It smells of generous fruit, of blueberry and spice and white pepper, the liqueur plum of warm year Grampian Shiraz swapped for something more feline and spicy and berried. A little dash of Viognier just adds to the berrues. If anything, this smells more Yarra Shiraz than Grampians red this year (thankyou wet and cold 2011 vintage) yet still recognisably regional and varietal.
The palate backs this up too, leaner and spicier and more pointed, the acid higher and the palate looking a little washed out through the middle, though it still has a nice blueberry thang. Lots of pepper and cloves over light fruit with a faintly bitter edge. Little tannins to speak of but certainly a vibrant number considering the vintage.
A very elegant wine for Bests and a quite atypically lean and herbal wine for Great Western, this is enjoyable in its mode but far from my favourite vintage of Bin 1. Still, it’s a clever style – just not my preferred vintage for this wine.
Score: 16.8/20 89/100
Would I buy it? No. Much prefer the 2010.
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Had a tasting last night at our local wine shop that sells the Best's wines here in Western Canada. Went through almost the complete portfolio with general manager Jonathan Mogg. Very impressed by the 2012 Riesling (WOW, is this typical of Grampians Riesling?). 2011 Bin 1 is certainly a departure from their typical style. 2010 Bin 0 & Thomson Family Shiraz were outstanding, though WAAAAY too young. Highlight of the night however was getting to try the 1984 Bin 0 Hermitage. Amazing sweet fruit on the nose, and still holding together with elegance after almost 3 decades in the bottle. A unique opportunity to try a part of Australian wine history…and 11/8% alcohol. I certainly hold up Best's as an example of what Australian wine can be to people over here who may pre-judge all Australian wines.