“Three varieties very well suited to McLaren Vale. Bush Vine Grenache provides aromatic lift and bright red fruit characters. Shiraz lends powdery tannin, spice and mid-palate weight, while Mourvèdre rounds out the blend and contributes balance and structure. This wine is a fun and challenging puzzle to assemble each vintage and will age gracefully up to a decade after release.”
I don’t normally quote the full blurb from a winery website, but that’s good work from Varney about Vale GSM. Back label written, right there. The only thing I’d argue about is the powdery tannins bit – that doesn’t scream McLaren Vale Shiraz to me. Grampians maybe, even Coonawarra, but not McLaren Vale. But it’s all subjective anyway, so who cares.
Meanwhile, this Varney GSM 2018 won me over for pure balance and drinkability. The price is just the final sweetener.
Some whole bunches, some carbonic, 10 months in older oak. It’s the right recipe for deliciousness. Lovely juicy, black and red-fruited style that has this sweet vanilla bean lift that you’d swear it had seen new oak. Varietal or regional character? Otherwise, this is transparent, dark-fruited, the middle rich, the finish surprisingly unblemished by alcohol warmth, though it does get dry and chunky.
Balance is the key here – weight without excess. Like a boxer, and this wine would win with a few well-timed punches. Yes yes. Best drinking: good now and indeed for up to a decade. 14.6%, $32. 18.5/20, 94/100. Varney website. Would I buy it? Well worth a bottle.
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