The Great Western range of wines provides an ideal introduction to the unique wine style of Great Western. These accessibly priced wines show detailed aromatic qualities set within a medium-bodied framework. The ‘continental’ climate, relatively unique in Australia, defined by cold nights and warm afternoons, means the fruit grown here develops flavours slowly through the day, building intense and varietal aromas and characters.
The Thomson Centenary Shiraz was created in 1993, to celebrate the centenary of the Thomson family’s settling in the area of Great Western. A special single vineyard wine, it was made from the 15 rows of the original 1868 Shiraz vines, planted by Henry Best, and once referred to as ‘Hermitage’ in Henry’s daily journal.
Today, this wine is only made in the very best vintage years and is called Thomson Family Shiraz. It has been made nine times in 20 years and has become a highly collectible and sought-after wine. The 15 rows of original vines produce only very small amounts of fruit, cropped at less than two tonnes per acre (four tonnes per hectare) and then meticulously hand-harvested, selected and sorted. Only approximately 300 cases of this flagship wine is released in our very ‘best’ years.
The wine opens slowly to reveal a heady mixture of perfumed dark fruits, bitter chocolate, dried flowers, intense white pepper and layers of secondary aromas including tar, undergrowth and plum pudding. Intense and crunchy fragrant dark fruit flavours fill the mouth and surround the core of fine crumbly tannins that drive the flavours through the palate. The persistent silky seductiveness of this wine mellows out its’ power, richness and structure.
Henry Best’s original 15 rows of 1868 plantings yield just 300 cases of this deeply exotic shiraz, layered with black cherry and dark berry fruit and the exotic spice and supple tannins that can only come from grand, ancient vines. It propagates with exceptional persistence, at once full and complete and at the same time effortless and elegant. Profound. Drink by: 2020-2030; Price: $200.00; Alcohol: 14%; Rating: 97 Points; Tyson Stelzer; Top 150 Wines of 2017
The colour is fractionally lighter and more youthful than Bin No. 0, but takes the keynote of intensity onto another level. Attention to detail in the vineyard throughout the growing season, and in the winery from the first juice to flow from the berries to the end of the bottling line are all reflected here. There is a total fusion of complex fruits, of licorice, spice and pepper sidelights, of fine, yet ripe, tannins that come from very old vines, and French oak, the texture running lengthways and sideways, but never breaking line. Old vine wines like this make a mockery of vintage charts. Drink by: 2055; Price: $200.00; Date Tasted: Jan 2017; Alcohol: 14%; Rating: 98 Points & Special Value Star; Top 100 Wines of the Year 2017; James Halliday; James Halliday Wine Companion
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