Hands Wines, Barossa, Australia
matters. I tasted these wines twice a few months apart. The first
time, they were too cold – it was the right at the start of one of
the Decanter events and they hadn’t had a chance to reach a decent
drinking temperature. On that occasion they consistently scored
perhaps 2 or 3 points lower than on the second occasion, reported
here, so I’m ignoring my first set of tasting notes.
or not you like the Two Hands' wines or not is largely a matter of
style. I’ll come right out and say that I don’t really like them.
It’s not just a question of size: these are undoubtedly big wines,
but I do appreciate some big wines – just not these ones. These are
ripe and bold with plenty of oak, but for me they don’t have the
right definition of flavour. The fruit is just a little too pushed and
sweet, and the oak overlay is a little heavy. You’ll notice that
I’ve scored these wines quite highly, though: I recognize that they
are very well made for this style and will have lots of fans. I guess
that’s the job of the critic – try to rate on ‘quality’
independent of style, but at the same time communicate personal views.
To put it another way, I think a critics job is not to impose their
own personal taste on readers, but to let readers know how good they
think the wines of, while at the same time communicating the style of
the wine clearly enough to give people an idea about whether they’ll
like the wine or not.
an indication of prices, the top wines (the last four in this list)
retail around £25.
Hands Riesling 2003
Very aromatic and full with a lovely limey intensity to the
palate. Bold, full and delicious. Very good/excellent 90/100
Hands Angel’s Share Shiraz 2002 McLaren Vale
Very rich, dark, ripe and bold with lots of spicy dark fruits.
Intense style. Very good/excellent 90/100
Hands Brave Faces Shiraz/Grenache 2002
Rich, intense and tarry with a bold nose of over-ripe fruit. Soft,
ripe, rich juicy palate. Quite oaky and rich. Very good/excellent
Hands Bad Impersonator Shiraz 2002
Very dark colour. Soft, sweet, rich nose. Immensely concentrated,
rich, soft palate with seamless fruit. A very bold style –
unashamedly rich, oaky and sweet. Very good/excellent 91/00
Hands Bull & Bear Shiraz/Cabernet 2002 Barossa/McLaren Vale
Sweet, soft nose. The palate is concentrated and sweet with ripe
fruit and a spicy, minerally, almost salty edge. Very good/excellent
Hands Lily’s Garden Shiraz 2002 McLaren Vale
Spicy, tarry, almost Port-like sweet fruit on the nose. Nice
herby, tarry complexity to the rich, concentrated fruit on the palate.
Very bold and rich, but with some character, too. Very good/excellent
Hands Bella’s Garden Shiraz 2002 Barossa Valley
Intense, deeply coloured wine with an appealing soft, spicy
Port-like nose. Concentrated and intense ripe fruit on the palate with
a minerally, salty edge to the ripe black fruits. Bold and rich: a
super-ripe style. Very good/excellent 91/100
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