My jaw hit the floor when I opened up my surprise little package from Chalk Hill and saw what was inside! The pinnacle of tasting, this remarkable box houses some of the best and brightest talent this country has seen! I was in two minds, do I open them and do a vertical tasting right now, do I hold onto them and impress at the next dinner party. OR... do I resist temptation and lay them down and open one up each year? I obviously opted for the first one, and boy oh boy was I in for a rare treat!!!
So the general idea of the box is to look at the interpretation of one vineyard site by six winemakers. It is the brainchild of Tom Harvey, director of McLaren Vale’s Chalk Hill, and is a remarkably well-conceived and implemented exercise, born of a desire to understand just how much influence a wine maker has in making a single vineyard wine.
It may be best to read this section in conjunction with the reviews. As a group of wines, the 2013 Alpha Crucis ‘Winemakers’ Series’ Shiraz are very high in quality, befitting the Alpha Crucis nomenclature. They all share ripeness of fruit and are wines of character on nose and palate. Although identical in appearance, the wines are very evidently different, even on bouquet alone. Their individuality is confirmed, once tasting the wines. Clearly, the wine maker inputs have resulted in stylistically very different wines.
Previous vintage Accolades:
Alpha Crucis ‘Winemakers’ Series – Peter Schell’ McLaren Vale Shiraz 2012 18/20
Alpha Crucis ‘Winemakers’ Series – Steve Grimley’ McLaren Vale Shiraz 2012 !!!!! 19/20
Winemakers' Series Steve Grimley McLaren Vale Shiraz 2012 Rows 4, 10, 16, 22, 28 and 32 Regional dark chocolate, spice and black fruits fill the mouth; the exclusion of pressings has worked very well, the tannins here already in balance. 96 points, drink to 2032
Chalk Hill Alpha Crucis Winemakers' Series Corrina Wright McLaren Vale Shiraz 2012 Rows 5, 11, 17, 23, 29, 35; Mouthfeel very different, especially oak and tannin; while powerful, medium-bodied, with some spice and red fruit notes. 95 points, drink to 2032,
Chalk Hill Alpha Crucis Winemakers' Series Peter Schell McLaren Vale Shiraz 2012 Rows 3, 9, 15, 21, 27 and 33; picked The bouquet has spice, herb and earth nuances picked up and magnified by the fresh palate profile; lingering tannins are fine, but will soon soften. 95 points, drink to 2035
2012 Chalk Hill Alpha Crucis Winemakers' Series Mike Brown McLaren Vale Shiraz Rows 2, 8, 14, 20, 26 and 32; The fragrant bouquet has both black and (some) red fruit aromas that translate directly to the flavours of the supple and very long palate. 96 pts; drink to 2046
2012 Chalk Hill Alpha Crucis Winemakers' Series Bec Willson McLaren Vale Shiraz Rows 6, 12, 18, 24, 30 and 36: A very savoury wine, black fruits utterly dominant; cool fermentation undoubted impact on both flavour and mouthfeel; tannins firm but not rough. 94 points; drink to 2032
2012 Chalk Hill Alpha Crucis Winemakers' Series Emmanuelle Bekkers McLaren Vale Shiraz Rows 1, 7, 13, 19, 25 and 31; The cool fermentation has heightened the impact of the wine, first its alcohol, then its 100% new oak, but also its fruit profile; counter intuitively, it is by far the most savoury of the Alpha Crucis wines. 94 points; drink to 2032
Don't Pay: $435.00
WBW Rating: 99/100
Region: McLaren Vale, SA
Drink now until: 2035+
Alc/Vol: 14 %
*Free delivery Australia-wide for 12+ 750ml bottles of wine.
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