2007, Gemtree Uncut, Shiraz, McLaren Vale, Australia - $20-25
Gemtree is a very young, hip, organic boutique winery from one of Australia’s most renowned Shiraz regions. It was launched in 1998 and has since been led by winemaker Mike Brown, who joined Gemtree from the terrific wine producer d'Arenberg.
Due to a severe draught in 2007, the wines of their Uncut blocks ended up being very powerful and of very low yields. For those of you not familiar with what goes into growing a wine grape, years of very little rain can be terrific for wine. During a draught, vines are forced to fight for every bit of moisture. This struggle to survive leads the vines deeper into the earth and contributes to a wines complexity. Also, grapes during these years are very concentrated due to the fact that they are not diluted with an abundance of water.
The 2007 Uncut is a very powerful, berry forward wine of very deep color. On the nose you get some ripe blueberry and cherry which is mirrored on the palate. After that initial hit of berries you then may get the hints of oak imparted by the barrel aging. The acidity and mild tannins truly shine through. Due to its structure and acidity, this is a very food friendly wine. These are the reasons I selected this for the wine list at Juniper's at the Wildflower Inn (Lyndonville, VT).
Wine Spectator has not rated the 2007 as of yet, but past vintages have scored out in the 88-92 range. I feel that this wine is a very solid 92 point Shiraz, which would also make it a terrific value!