Two Hands “Barney’s Block” Shiraz: Vintages 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 compared.
All 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 vintages are deep black-purple in colour. The style is consistent in giving an exciting bouquet that displays a gentle perfume of aniseed, roasted nuts, lavender, mineral, earth, tar and espresso. All of the three are big, even and persistent coating entry of real fruit weight. Rounded purple to black fruits that continue on an extended and long finish, both wines express a wealth of polished tannins that make the finish very soft, rounded and balanced. All three wines can age in our view beyond 2020; both are with ABV 15.5% and very full bodied; both are delicious.
To contrast, 2007 is vast, inky, and fruit forward(class blackberries, dark cherry). Despite individual medicinal tones, the fruit is still vibrant. On the palate, big dark fruit, dark chocolate, exotic spices and white pepper on the finish.
The 2008 at 15.5% alcohol with good balance, fine tannins, lifted acidity. There is heat on the nose and on the palate. But at the same time amazing intense blueberry fruit that coats the palate and teeth for an eternity. The challenge here is that the other expected components at 10 years of age just are hidden in all its fruit. Warm velvety tannins accompany all the way with this big monster wine. Classic Australian Shiraz; may lack elegance to some.
The 2009 Two Hands Barney's Block Shiraz, on the other hand, is slightly riper with clear structures in a well-balanced body, where the high alcohol is by now very well integrated with the other elements.
The 2010 Two Hands Barney's Block Shiraz, however, progresses exceptionally well in glass(from primary, secondary to tertiary) and expresses complexities from layers of tertiary tones.
The four vintages are all different and all score mostly at 94 points level(JH, WS etc.). Quality is consistent and good.
Following the dictum of ‘terroir, terroir, terroir’, these two wines, in the eyes of their makers, express terroir at ‘township’ or ‘road’ basis and reflect beyond varietal expression. Regardless of the power of the Two Hands Barney’s Block, we feel that they always express a high level of elegance. Very much this second tier after the top –top Ares, Two Hands pinnacle expression of Shiraz. The quality is much beyond the Bella’s Garden Shiraz (one of the wines of Two Hand’s Garden Series) we tasted.
Sourced from a premium, a single vineyard of Two Hands along the world famous McMurtrie Road in McLaren Vale( you will see Primo Estate, Hugh Hamilton Wines, Wirra Wirra Vineyards, Brick Klin), the fruit represents some of the classic expression of McLaren Vale Shiraz at its best. Selected small parcels from this vineyard block were crushed and fermented in open-top fermenters, with regular pump overs (three daily over peak fermentation, so this is quite gentle) to maximise extraction. Average time on skins was 14 days, after which the surfaces pressed (that’s why the colours). All free run and pressings were combined (so the wine has got to be age-worthy enough) After 2 Days, the wine racks to where malolactic fermentation occurred. After 24 months ageing in American and French oak, the wine bottles with minimum fining and no filtration.
Scores for the three vintages are consistent and impressive: