2018 James Halliday Wine Companion

 


Star Rating: star
 
James' Review


Peter Schell and Magali Gely are a husband and wife team from NZ who came to Australia in the early 1990s to study oenology and marketing at Roseworthy College. They have spent four vintages making wine in France, mainly in the south, where Magalis family were vignerons for generations near Montpellier. The focus at Spinifex is the red varieties that dominate in the south of France: mataro (more correctly mourvedre), grenache, shiraz and cinsaut. The wine is made in open fermenters, basket-pressed, with partial wild (indigenous) fermentations, and relatively long post-ferment maceration. This is a very old approach, but nowadays la mode. The current releases are superb, the best so far to come from this top- class producer. Exports to the UK, Canada, Belgium, Singapore, Hong Kong, China and NZ.



Author: James Halliday

James Halliday
Australian Wine Companion 2018 Edition
 

2015 Spinifex La Maline Barossa Shiraz

This is nothing short of electrifying. It's as if a ball of energy has been created with a core of tiptop dark fruit laced with pepper, menthol, star anise and patchouli. There are high tones to the floral notes, creaminess on the full-bodied palate, velvety tannins and integrated cedary oak. It has power, design and structure yet purity, too, and extraordinary length. It takes complexity to a new level.
Rating: 97
Drink By: 2045
Alcohol: 14.5%

2015 Spinifex Moppa Shiraz

The inaugural release of this single vineyard wine and it exudes a certain power yet dances to an elegant tune. Exemplary purple-dark crimson hue; meaty and reductive at first, soon enough reveals dark fresh fruit with umami flavours of soy, warm earth as it sits in a savoury spectrum. Full-bodied with supple powerful tannins. Apparently the grower is a reserved gentleman, understated and modest,
who takes enormous pride in his fruit. It shows.
Rating: 97
Drink By: 2045
Alcohol: 14.5%

2014 Spinifex B'te Noir

Shiraz is mentioned in small handwriting on the back label, the use of phrase left to the imagination, but surely nothing to do with this wine with its spicy, savoury, essency, juicy dark fruit flavours that ask you back again and again as you taste it.
Rating: 95
Drink By: 2034
Alcohol: 13.5%

2016 Spinifex Barossa Syrah

It's easy to be enchanted by this wine. It'll garner complexity in time, while it's sheer bliss to drink now thanks to its excellent fruit and perfectly poised tannins. A cascade of red fruits picks up a spice trail of star anise and cinnamon, some menthol too, en route to full-bodied, very detailed, palate.
Rating: 95
Drink By: 2027
Alcohol: 13.5%

2015 Spinifex Miette

58% grenache, 32% mataro, 10% cinsaut is the final blend and wow, what a beautiful wine. Not the most complex but for sheer drinking pleasure, it's right up there, as lofty as the aromatics of red licorice, musk, menthol and spice. Silky sensation to the tannins, a
bit of grunt too, and a lively acid kick to finish.
Rating: 95
Drink By: 2022
Alcohol: 14.5%

2013 Spinifex Miette

Good colour; Spinifex shows all its skill in bringing this blend together, full of flavour, yet also finesse and length. The gently briary red berry and plum flavours show no confection or dead fruit characters whatsoever.
Rating: 92
Drink By: 2020
Alcohol: 14.5%

2012 Spinifex Single Vineyard Old Vine Barossa Valley Shiraz

There's no information about the identity of the single vineyard, nor, more importantly, how old is old. However, the utterly remarkable crimson-purple colour of a 4yo shiraz, and the sheer intensity of the flavour, do speak of great vine age. I also suspect this wine spent much time in oak, with a significant percentage new, French its likely provenance.
Rating: 96
Drink By: 2042
Alcohol: 14.5%

2012 Spinifex Single Vineyard Old Vine Barossa Valley Mataro

The identity of the vineyard is not disclosed, but it's very good on the incontrovertible evidence of this remarkable mataro, a variety that is notoriously difficult to manage on its own in the winery. The colour is excellent, as is the depth of the complex fruits that range across red and purple into a savoury/earthy eventide of flavours and dusty tannins.
Rating: 96
Drink By: 2032
Alcohol: 14.5%

Spinifex Louis Sparkling Shiraz o

8 years on lees is an enormous effort for a total production of just 150 dozen and this first disgorgement from Pete Schell is a savoury and understated take on Barossa shiraz. It's gamey and complex, with some brettanomyces building complexity and bolstering dryness on the finish.
Rating: 90
Drink By: 2017
Alcohol: 13.5%

 

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