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Gemtree Vineyards White Lees Shiraz

Cracka Value Rating
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Cracka Review

This is a lovely, mature shiraz that makes for smooth, lush drinking, especially if you are cooking up some beef short ribs. Aromas of hedgerow berries, mocha, anise and deli-meats decorate the nose, whilst the palate is rich and chocolaty, with plenty of fruit sweetness, licks of meaty savouriness, a creamy mouthfeel, and mellow tannins before a soft friendly finish.

Winemaker's Notes

Winemaker, Mike Brown was emptying some freshly fermented white wine out of new French oak barrels. Left behind in the barrels were the remnants of yeast called “lees”. Normally the lees are emptied out before the next wine is put in.

Whilst rolling the first barrels to empty them, Mike tasted the lees in a tub and found they had extraordinary flavour. They were fluffy, crunchy, and looked very "alive" and healthy. He decided to transfer a fascinating unoaked Shiraz into the French oak barrels on top of the white lees. Over the next 28 months the experiment began to take shape, and what has evolved is an incredibly unique wine!!

The white lees have acted as a preserving agent, protecting this wine from normal aging characteristics, hence with the extraordinary quality of the 2011 vintage combined with the lees natural preserving abilities we have a wine that is truly remarkable.

Appearance: Black with red/purple hue.

Nose: Blueberry, liquorice, violets, olive pith, mulberry, cinnamon, cheery ripe, marshmallow; and from the lees – orange blossom and tangerine.

Palate: Flavours of salty plum, cherry and red currants all traverse the palate with hints of dark chocolate, mocca, and mint also being evident, it’s a mouth filling wine as Shiraz should be. The 2011 White Lees Shiraz has definitive concentration yet shows restraint. Texture is built in here from the lees and the tannin and acid profile provides a tight framework to ensure this wine finished in true Gemtree style.

Food: Slow cooked pork belly with Asian greens and rice noodles.

Cellaring: 2013-2029.

Alcohol: 15%

expert reviews about

Gemtree Vineyards White Lees Shiraz

Expert Reviews

Rob Geddes MW (2009 Vintage) says
Impressive deep colour with strong plum, subtle savoury herb and American oak aromas. Aromas need time to come together. The palate is very smoothly structured with length and good bridging on the palate of soft tannin and cooked plum fruit.The finish is youthfully firm and acid. Big old style hot year power house shiraz.
Rob Geddes MW
88
James Halliday (2009 Vintage) says
The use of the ïwhite lessÍ is to preserve freshness and the result would support the theory; fresh, ripe red and black fruit, with fruitcake spice, mocha oak notes and light floral hints; the palate is juicy, unctuous and warm, with a long, fine-grained tannin finish that is plush and more than a little hedonistic.
Australian Wine Companion 2014 Edition 2013
95
Jeremy Oliver (2009 Vintage) says
Slightly baked and raisined; an interesting wine whose sweet floral fragrance reveals spicy and currant-like aromas of blue flowers, musk and marzipan. It's sweetly fruited and dehydrated, with ultra-ripe fruits and coconut ice oak framed by a firmish cut of drying but pliant tannins and finishing with lingering notes of almond.
The Australian Wine Annual 2014 Edition 2014
89
James Halliday (2008 Vintage) says
Winemaker Mike Brown hit upon the idea of maturing shiraz in French oak barrels that had the lees of barrel-fermented chardonnay still in place, a practice used here and there in Europe. Here, too, the colour is good, although there is no suggestion of co-fermentation. Just how much it builds the flavour is something only Mike would know, but it is certainly an intensely flavoured, black-fruited wine that has lost none of its regional identity.
To 2023
Australian Wine Companion 2013
94
Jeremy Oliver (2008 Vintage) says
Long and lean, with a thin, rather unconvincingly spiky presence of sour-edged plum and cassis-like fruit with jamminess, meatiness and a disjointed acidity. It's lightly floral and spicy, with some fresh, creamy and cedary oak, but lacks freshness and balance.
2013-2016
The Australian Wine Annual 2013
86
James Halliday (2007 Vintage) says
Strong colour; the fragrant bouquet of spicy plum and black fruits leads into an intense, finely textured and very long palate; the wine spent 28 months in oak on chardonnay lees, with continuous battonage (lees stirring).
Australian Wine Companion 2011 2010
94
James Halliday (2006 Vintage) says
In Burgundy, lees from Grand Cru wines are sometimes used to 'enrich' lesser wines; here the lees from a white ferment were added to barrels of newly fermented, high-quality shiraz and stirred regularly for 28 months. This is a terrific wine; 300 dozen made
Australian Wine Companion 2010 2009
96
Rob Geddes MW (2006 Vintage) says
A mix of modern lees aging and traditional long oak aging techniques give this wine its name and helps impart additional elements to the aroma and texture on the palate. A slickly textured and sweet berry fruit with smoky bacon fat oak and still the mix of vibrant ripe berry fruit on the middle palate in the cherry blackberry spectrum and increasing refinement to the tannins and oak.
Rob Geddes MW
88
James Halliday (2004 Vintage) says
Rich, round and supple; strongly regional, high quality shiraz with expressive blackberry and dark chocolate flavours; very good texture and length. At this point, minimal difference between the cork and screwcap versions.
Australian Wine Companion 2009 2008
95
Rob Geddes MW (2004 Vintage) says
A mix of modern lees aging and traditional long oak aging techniques give this wine its name and helps impart additional elements to the aroma and texture on the palate. A slickly textured and sweet berry fruit with smoky bacon fat oak and still the mix of vibrant ripe berry fruit on the middle palate in the cherry blackberry spectrum and increasing refinement to the tannins and oak.
Rob Geddes MW
86

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