Martins Vineyard Limited McLaren Vale Shiraz 2016

You could call this the Back to the Future Shiraz. It is relatively low alcohol and features American oak yet has stunning intensity of blue and black fruits with absolutely no overripe characters. It is neither the heaving, jammy and over oaked behemoth of old, nor the modern, perfumed pretty which is in favour at the mo. On paper it could be a trainwreck but somehow it pulls together a bit like that old tune which still pops up from time to time … something old, something new, one to follow, fruited blue. And maybe black too.

Wine Specs

Wine Specs

RegionMcLaren Vale, SA
WineryCurtis Family Vineyards
WinemakerMark Curtis
Alcohol %14
Size750 mL
Bling97pts Sam Kim, 95pts James Halliday, 94pts Patrick Eckel, 94pts Tony Love

Allow us to prattle on a little more about this...

Drawing on Shiraz plantings from the 1950s this is a small batch wine (release is about 600 dozen) made to honour some of Australia's older Shiraz traditions bowing only slightly to modern trends. It is neither an over oaked jammy bruiser nor a modern midweight perfumed delicacy … rather it endeavours well to combine the best bits of both oeuvres. From the 1970s and 80s comes relatively low alcohol … at 14% this is low by Aussie standards where most Shiraz sit between 14.5 and 15.5% alcohol. This gives the wine a tightness, refinement and ageability and a freshness of fruit rather than jam. Next, American oak … French is pretty much all the rage these days, so it is unusual to find vanilla notes floating around … but the oak here is very high quality, the grain is tight and the toast gentle, so the vanilla becomes a complexing component rather than the headline act. Finally, old vines and low yield … this is an extremely concentrated wine with vibrant blue and black fruits, a silkiness and smoothness that reflects its price tag and a level of tannin and acidity which speaks to its long life ahead.

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Customer Reviews

Delicious and old-school.

Martins Vineyard 2016 Shiraz - Full bodied and robust, yet entirely delicious and old-school familiar. 94 points.

Tony Love, 4/04/2019
Customer Rating

This is one crazy good wine

I had to look twice as the label said McLaren Vale Shiraz. This is no high alcohol bull of a wine, and it is definitely not s*** either. It is as if the McLaren Vale packed its bags and spent a vintage travelling around the Ribera Del Duero an hour north of Madrid. For those who do not know yet, Ribera Del Duero is famous for producing some of the most outstanding Tempranillo in Spain. It is less acidic and more robust and richer than other Spanish Temps, known for stepping up the game in producing rounder more balanced wines, approachable in their youth. Which no one has said about Rioja, EVER!

The Martins Shiraz has moved away from the big juicy jammy style of traditional Barossa Shiraz and donned its Red cape to tame the American oak bull. Seriously, this is one crazy good wine, crazy that they even attempted to make it like this. Straight out of leftfield, it is like watching a mariachi band play Jimmy Barnes. You scratch you head to understand the what, then the why, but deep down you cannot help but love its quirkiness. To call it quirky is like saying Elle McPherson has a good personality. Sure, you are blown away by how complex and beautiful her personality is but deep down it just has one hell of an attractive "body” that will look amazing for many years to come.

Neil Viney, 7/09/2018
Customer Rating


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