Samuel’s Gorge Graciano 2019£25.75
Graciano is prized for its acidity, structure and intense aromatics. Our vines yield few bunches, but the fruit is exquisite. It is as at home here in McLaren Vale as it is in its native soils of Rioja; thriving in our arid landscape.
Generous dry spice notes of pimento, fresh bay leaves and dusty cocoa are perfectly balanced with pretty aromas of violets, mulberries and Turkish dried figs. Well-integrated tannins create a stage for the red plum and ripe cherry flavours to dance across the palate. In this complex and layered wine, vibrant fruit and fragrant spice find excellent balance.
Savour this with a meal that incorporates elements of both sweet and savoury, such as a Middle Eastern spiced lamb, on hummus, bejewelled with deep pink pomegranate seeds.
THE REAL REVIEW
“Indigo-purple colour in the glass. Lovely lifted violets and mocha with
oak-spice and red licorice. It’s slinky and finely-structured, albeit with
regional richness. Dark cherries and skin-spice. Classy and long.”
Samuel’s Gorge Mixed Case (6 bottles)£148.00
Samuel’s Gorge hand crafted wines are distinctly Australian with reference to the old world for texture, complexity and harmony. Having great patience, the fermentations of each parcel of fruit are long and slow in open slate fermenters lined with beeswax which date back 100 years. The grapes are pressed off using traditional basket press methods with the wines being transferred to oak to mature. These many components are then blended together to achieve harmony within each of the Samuel’s Gorge wines.
Specialising in four key varietals Grenache, Shiraz, Mourvedre and Tempranillo, grapes are strategically sourced from a range of sites and soils in order to achieve great depth and complexity of flavour.
The 6 bottle case price of £148 includes a 5% discount on the RRP case price of £155.90. The selection is as follows:
Samuel’s Gorge, Kaleidoscope Horizons , 2016£49.95
The 2016 Kaleidoscope Horizons is the more boisterous of the Samuel’s Gorge reserve blends. The wine is structurally supported by a tessellation of Tempranillo tannins, allowing Grenache to sing, Graciano to provide aromatics and acidity.
This beguiling blend will lead you down a path of smouldering cherry wood, marshy bogs, cured pancetta and cacao nibs. The wine grants the avid and willing taster a spice matrix accompanied by dark lifted aromatics of poached satsuma plum and polished mulga wood. Like clouds rumbling over the ocean, the elements of this wine gather and are then refracted like an ever-changing kaleidoscope, finishing with poise and structure.
The wine transcends one to Ho Chin Minh city night market; an intoxicating atmosphere, that like the wine, is wildly enticing. Crispy peking duck pancake with a dash of hoisin sauce.
Samuel’s Gorge Mourvedre 2015£25.50
Its full bodied, and the palate has real weight and intensity. It fills the mouth first with dark raspberries, then dark plums, then spices, hints of spicy pepper, leather, chocolate, and much more. This Mourvedre is dominant early, but will settle into the wine with time, which is perfect for what this dense wine needs. Its closed and tight with real structure, some firm but ripe tannins, for a very long and firm finish.
out of stock
Samuel’s Gorge, ‘Comet Tail’, Sparkling Shiraz 2014 (bottle fermented)£36.00
There’s sparkling red and there’s sparkling red and here at Tilley’s Wines we don’t do things by halves. We make sure our choices pack a punch in quality and over deliver on expectations.
We always steal Samuel’s Gorge’s winemaker, Justin McNamee’s tasting notes because quite frankly our prose pales in comparison and who better to set the tone than the creator himself:
“The epitome of romance in a bottle; traditionally made, bottle fermented, liquored with rare and selected muscats and ports and a result of contemplative devotion to this trade. Reminiscent of a rich Cornetto swirl, chase the surprises and delights offered up by this beautiful sparkling Shiraz. With a starry spray of fine beads dancing from the base of the glass, the Comet Tail sparkling is a must have for any celebratory table.”
Samuel’s Gorge Shiraz, 2017£25.50
Samuel’s Gorge have turned their hands at more Shiraz than any other single grape variety. It is a variety that reins over their province McLaren Vale and for that matter, most regions in South Australia. Its magnitude in accessibility ought not to be confused with magnitude of fruit flavour. It has charmed the world because it delivers concentration but concentration on a multitude of levels.
It is argued that Shiraz from Mclaren Vale shows a distinct regional style. Winemaker Justin McNamee goes further, he argues his shiraz has a signature style distinct from other producers. Justin instead celebrates the diversity that even a small region like McLaren Vale can produce.
Justin’s tasting note:
“The nose has a potent lift of liquorice and blackberry fruits. We embrace the mulberries that continue to be a signature of our own estate block and then we build from there. In order to balance the natural sweetness of these berry fruits the wine weaves in savoury of black olives and baccalà with ancient sticky balsamic. Our rustic house style always comfortably returning to a savoury spectrum. The ‘13 shows some engaging twists and turns; the swirl of smoke from a campfire in winter; the smouldering red gum and the dark smells of black coal.”
Samuel’s Gorge Grenache, 2018£25.50
In brief: Cult Grenache from a near perfect South Australian vintage.
Additional Info: Sifting through the top producers in McLaren Vale can be difficult to navigate, but if you want something lo-tech and quietly exquisite, the wines of Samuel’s Gorge by Justin McNamee should be on your hit list.
Mike Bennie summed up winemaker Justin McNamee’s operation like this; “There’s bits ‘n’ pieces seemingly everywhere, but within the chaos is a magnificent winemaker orchestrating through minimal intervention, some of the Vale’s most exciting wines.”
McNamee believes that Grenache is the variety that most honestly conveys the season. This Grenache is a flyer. It’s a power-packed wine but with the reins held tight. The high-toned aromatics of McLaren Vale set to a rugged and complex backdrop.
Made in tiny volumes and notoriously difficult to track down; wines like this are the reason why Samuel’s Gorge is one of the most loved indie producers in the Vale.
From Justin: The 2018 vintage is elegant yet serious. Its bright, red berry vibrancy with wafts of jasmine lure you in with implied playfulness, only to surprise you with something a little dark and broody… Take a sip and you’ll soon discover that despite its elegance this wine is no wallflower. Blueberries, cola and sweet spices begin to evolve, dancing on the palate as if popping in a hot pan.
Huon Hooke 95 points
Nick Butler 95 points
Samuel’s Gorge, ‘Mosaic of Dreams’, 2016£49.95
The Mosaic of Dreams is an endeavour to make a wine of ultimate finesse inspired by the exotic landscape of southern Rhone. This wine showcases a beautiful composition of Grenache, Mourvèdre & Syrah, focusing on the visceral rather than the literal elements. Brash blues, the ancient ochre coloured earth, the rose-tinted gulf as the sun sets… the Vale’s own Mosaic of Dreams: a place where the GSM grapes shine.
The wine opens with dark briary fruit, grated nutmeg and the spice of smoked cola with wild notes of ancient tonic. Tamarind paste and dried tangerine peel combine with star anise and roasted pine nuts to fill out the palate. The fine-boned tannins complete the profile. This is a harmonious wine, it dances effortlessly and has a persistent lingering finish.
Samuel’s Gorge, Tempranillo 2016£27.95
From a special little vineyard block perched atop of Samuel’s Gorge Seaview Estate; a merry dance of cherry, feminine floral’s and a charming tannin line.
Winemaker Justin has a merry dance with Tempranillo through each vintage, what he calls a Jekyll and Hyde. The vineyard is set amongst the clutches of a rocky, windswept ridge exposed to the Gulf and it’s fair to say that this Iberian hero is an interpretation of its landscape.
Winemaker, Justin McNamee’s tasting note:
“Aromas of jamon Serrano, lavender, dried sage, sun worn dusty limestone walls infiltrate the senses. Be prepared for an extended journey in the cellar with this one; it’s a stayer and may take a while to settle into its stride.”