Black Blood III: 94 Points from Philip White

InDaily writer Philip White recently wrote with fondness about the McLaren Vale Scarce Earth program, a program which we are pleased to be a part of again this year. Read on;

“McLaren Vale’s Scarce Earth project took a welcome lurch into the future.

With the release of 15 specially-blessed Shiraz wines, this time from the 2013 vintage, it became obvious that the selection panel which chose them from 44 entries was much more brutal in eliminating wines which displayed too much winemaking sophistry to properly reflect their source location.

The idea is that winemakers with a vineyard on any specific geology from the region’s confounding fruit cake make a wine from it with the main intent being to let the site sing right through to the final glass: the opposite of cross-regional blending, or even multi-vineyard blending.

The opposite, in fact, to nearly all Australia’s industrial winemaking practice. Previous Scarce Earth selections had been cursed with too much oak, over-ripe fruit leading to too much alcohol, or too much fussy winemakers’ intervention. With the release of these ’13s, it was also obvious that the winemakers are finally getting the idea, too

Hugh Hamilton Black Blood III Shiraz 2013 ($70; 94+) gets that extra point for its stolid, pyramid-shaped, I ain’t goin’ nowhere attitude. Below its illusory last-minute smudge of lipstick flesh, it smells of hot tractor with a sump full of licorice. Cross-dresser? Typical of the Morello and iron you’ll find right up through Douglas Gully and Blewitt Springs, where the Maslin Sands have turned to ironstone. Black, sour, intense and clunky, this bugger will settle right down eeeventuuaaaaaally. Geology: Maslin Sands”

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