Part 6: Tin
Tin Shed? It's a lie. These
remarkable wines are not made in a tin shed, but rather a solidly
built stone barn, albeit one that is rather bare and rustic. We’re
still out in the Eden Valley here, which at this time of year, as
winter gives way to spring, has a beautiful stillness and ruggedness
is a joint venture between Andrew Wardlaw (right), who in a
previous life was a viticulturist working with Henschke, and Peter
Clarke, chef/owner of Vintners restaurant in Angaston. They starting
making wines together in 1998. Andrew has travelled a bit –
including spells in Burgundy, Alsace and the Northern Rhône – and
seems to have a clear idea of the sorts of wines he wants to make.
They’re quite different to the traditional big, ripe, chocolatey,
rather oaky reds that the Barossa has made its name with. Instead
the emphasis is more on elegance and definition. Andrew is
non-interventionist and the wines are made using natural yeast
ferments and unobtrusive oak influence.
I tried through some barrel samples. Once again the
influence of site was emphasized: different bits of the Eden and
Barossa make wines that do taste different. The 2004s tasted here
were fantastic, and I’m looking forward to see the results when
the wines are bottled. I reckon I’ll be buying some.
First, a Grenache 2004 from Moppa, the coolest part of
the Barossa. It has a gingery, spicy nose which is aromatic and
expressive with lovely pure, spicy fruit. A hit.
Second, a Mourvèdre 2004 from Moppa. Massively lively,
taut and spicy with a drying mouthfeel. Vivid and expressive with
good spicy structure. Fantastic.
an Eden Valley Shiraz 2004 has deep colour and lively, aromatic
fruit. Very expressive, again.
A blend of all three has lovely aromatics, nicely
defined red fruits and good structure.
2004 Melting pot component. Bright, forward and
aromatic with lovely defined fruit character. Nice spicy structure,
The next 2004 is a Cabernet Franc with some Merlot,
Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. Remarkably vivid intense fruit with a
bit of herbaceousness in the background. Very intense, tannic and
Cabernet Franc 2004 from Fechners (growers near
Moculta, which is the warmest bit of the Eden Valley). Vivid, full
and quite alcoholic – apparently picked a week late.
Shiraz 2004 from Fechners. Vivid, intense and aromatic
with spicy complexity. Bold and rich. Very nice stuff.
Moppa Shiraz 2004 from old oak. Inky dark and aromatic.
Vivid, intense with high acid: lots of pure fruit.
Shiraz 2004 (very high up, in a rain shadow). Very aromatic spicy
nose – perfumed. Very clean and expressive with spicy fruit on the
palate. Ripe but taut, with a spicy finish.
Mourvèdre/Shiraz/Grenache 2003 (blended in cask)
Very expressive with lovely spicy, structure. Firm, taut red fruits
dominate. Not a showy wine, but beautiful structure. Very
Single Wire Shiraz 2003 (blended in cask)
Lovely fine aromatic fruit on the nose. Quite pure. The palate is
expressive with lovely structure and some spiciness on the finish.
Really impressive quality of fruit with some elegance. Very
Finally, a bottled wine tried a day later.
Tin Shed Single Wire Shiraz 2001
Very deep colour. Intense, bright aromatic nose of pure red
fruits. The palate has pure primary red fruits with lovely elegance
and dry, firm tannins. Savoury with good acid. Quite sensational
stuff. Very good/excellent 94/100
available in the UK from The Cellar Door and Bordeaux Index