Hao Shen, Le Paradis du Vin (November 2019)

As its name, the flagship Barrel Selection Shiraz/Cabernet is a selection of the best barrels while is also a selection of the best fruits of the old vines from the organic Moculta Vineyard (near Henschke’s Hill of Grace Vineyard) grown on sandy loam over clay. The blend is 60% Shiraz from Block 1 and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon from Block 13. The grapes are picked, stored and de-stemmed by hand before transferred to open fermenters; fermenting with wild yeast and aided by daily pipeage till fermentation starts and pumping over fermentation is complete; gently basked pressed and then aging 23 months in French oak barrels; without fining or filtration. Tarrawatta Barrel Selection Shiraz/Cabernet 2018 was a perfect model of modern Barossa wine that was exceptionally fragrant and incredibly refined on the aroma, with imposingly balanced perfumes of red flowers, stone, sweet spices (cinnamon, red liquorice), loquat, apricot, cranberry, crushed raspberry, blackberry, ginger and Christmas pudding plus a trace of black chocolate and earth provided the depth and completeness. Showing terrific purity on both nose and palate. The beautifully well-delineated mouthfeel was marked by expressively sweet fruit that packed the slightly powdery but singularly detailed tannin that imparted uncommonly polished sense and underlying tension to the somewhat solemn yet considerably airy finish abounded with linear, fresh and crystalline acid that underlined the ethereality and fineness. It’s decidedly the most touching expression of the ‘terroir’ of Eden Valley.