From one of the oldest vineyards on the planet!
This is the second release of Zen Master Shiraz, and it qualifies for that rare monicker, “Centurion Vineyard” indicating that it comes from vines 100 or more years old. Few vineyards, anywhere in the world get to this age so the vines, their grapes and the wine deserve respect.
As befits a vineyard of such age the grapes were hand-picked and fermented in an open-topped fermenter at the Atze’s Corner winery. Judicious plunging of the ferment extracted the deep colour and tannins from the grapes without overwhelming the aromas and flavours. There was no birthday cake or candles for the vineyard but Andy did buy a brand new French oak puncheon in which to mature the wine he’d lovingly made from the vines planted a century ago by the Atze family. A puncheon is a slightly larger barrel than is usually used and it imparts an especially delicate oak character to the wine, perfect for a wine such as this.
The inky-deep purple colour catches your eye while floral characters, violet and rose petal, stream from the glass. Drinking Zen Master is pure joy, it is silky smooth, utterly seamless and perfectly balanced. Ripe, black fruit characters dominate the palate complexed by pepper spices and dark chocolate, a note of vanilla and hazelnut. So young, yet so polished. Too young in fairness, we’ve waited 101 years for the vines to grow we really should wait another decade to really enjoy this wine and even then it won’t be close to its best. If you must open a bottle now we suggest that you decant it perhaps six hours ahead of time to allow it to give some hints of the things to come.
Only 600 Bottles produced.
95 Points James Halliday’s Wine companion
- Serve at 16 degrees Celcius for optimal flavour and aromatic expression.
- Decant or open one hour before serving to open up aromas and soften the tannins.
Andy in the 1912 Zen Master Vineyard