Intended as a mid-level Australian wine, Six Foot Six is not a wine you cannot expect serious drinking just as one might not have taken William Buckley seriously if one does not know what he had achieved for the Australians. The weakness of the Six Foot Six is: you will need to drink kop within one hour before the fading of the fruit, which is just normal for many a connoisseur like yourself who know about what mid price wines can do and cannot do.
Would William Buckley have liked Six Foot Six? Yes, definitely, for the honest expression of Six Foot Six. In form of Shiraz, whose current vintage is 2003, it is upfront, fruit-driven and offers a typical Shiraz colour, nose and palate. But its distinctiveness is in its velvety and easy to drink style. It is youth and purple with pinkly hues; earthy with spicy tone. The fruit is upfront blackberry. On the palate, it is fresh, with black-tea note, with soft tannins and spicy oak. Earthy, menthol and liquorice flavours adds to the spice side by side with it acidity giving a firm structure.
As you know, Shiraz has the amazing capacity to show different characteristics in different regions of Australia. The big powerful style of Shiraz has certainly put Australia on the wine map around the world but as one begins to explore the cooler regions of Australia, they begin to see what Shiraz can do when it has had more time to develop on the vine and not over-extracted. The Geelong region, 60kms south-west of Melbourne is one of Australia’s leading cool climate regions. While the traditional cool climate varieties of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay shine in Geelong, one of its greatest assets is its elegant and spicy style of Shiraz. The medium-bodied weight of this style of Shiraz allows its complex flavours to work wonderfully well with the extraordinary flavours in Chinese cuisine rather than over-power the food. Austin’s is one of the leading exponents of Shiraz from Geelong and is also one of the region’s leading exporters around the world.
The Pinot Noir version, in my opinion, is superior in terms of fruit. It is cherry and violet toned, with a plumy nose. The palate is Burgundian in the sense that it is subtle and graceful.
Beating all other entries from Australians’ leading cool climate wineries, The Six Foot Six Pinot Noir 2004 did won a major Pinot Noir tender in Sweden with its recent and was launched last month in November to 300 government owned retail Stores through out Sweden. Does that mean anything? Probably not much as the Swedish choice could reflect the cost performance more than strict quality and preference indicators. Although it may not be enticing to your palate as it much have done in charming the palate of the Swedish judges, the Six Foot Six Pinot Noir does point to its wide market acceptance: you cannot be that wrong in choosing the Six Foot Six Pinot Noir 2004.
Higher versions of Six Foot Six
Austin’s higher version is the Barrabool brand, whose 2004 Pinot Noir won the 2005 Geelong Wine Show Trophy as “The Best Pinot Noir”, a prize showing the recognition not only from a market and product standpoint, but also the recognition amongst the peers of the Victorian wine making circle. James Holiday according 91 marks with the Barrabool Reserve Pinot Noir 2002 and 92 marks with Barrabool Shiraz 2002. James Halliday also consider Austin’s as a 4-Star Winery Six Foot Six is very much as a brand mark.
These days, it has been becoming a commonsense knowledge that branding in wines identifies and helps differentiate the wine of one wine company from another. On an operational front, branding in wines manifests in brand name and brand marks, which are becoming increasingly important for Australian wine marketing. All these, perhaps, are based on the segmentation theories and target marketing practices. Perhaps there is no need to spilt on the strength of using a human cult such as William Buckley in adding to the brand mark of wine before worldly readers like you. That of personification and adding human character to it helps customers to remember the wines and identify one to it is one manifestation of marketing as well.
Deniably, Six Foot Six is still a new wines, although the vineyard has growth from a mere 3 acre to 150-acre operation But in surviving our cannibalistic commercial wine world in which luck is called for, Six Foot Six has really got a “Buckley’s (sic, chance)”.