Grosset Gaia Clare Valley Red 2017  £49.95

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Jeffrey Grosset established his winery in 1981 in the historic township of Auburn, Clare Valley, 100 kilometres north of Adelaide. The winery is stylish and functional and reflects the attention to detail that extends to the Grosset estate-owned vineyards and winemaking. Jeff is best known for his Rieslings which have shown a consistency of style and quality, making this one of Australia’s greatest wineries. By combining a disciplined approach and decades of experience, Grosset consistently achieves the purest expression of variety and place.

Planted at 570 metres, at the highest and coolest point of the Clare Valley. The Gaia vineyard is a rocky, isolated, wind-swept two-hectare block close planted by Grosset in 1986 that sits above the rolling golden cornfields of the Clare Valley.

2017 is Grosset's third consecutive outstanding vintage. This makes 2017, 2016 and 2015 the best run of seasons they have ever experienced. The 2017 vintage was a full month later than the previous two. It was almost European in character with much higher rainfall during the growing season.

The grapes were handpicked, crushed and de-stemmed, then fermented for eight days in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. Gentle plunging of the cap took place every four hours to aid extraction of colour and tannin. The wine was then passed into French oak barriques (40% new) and aged for 18 months. It was bottled without fining or filtering and aged for a further year in bottle before release.

This wine has brooding, almost briary, aromas of black cherry, plum and blackcurrant. It has a fine structure with a firm backbone and pleasing bramble flavours; well-integrated, gently gripping tannins that are long and well-balanced.

James Halliday: 95 Points

Cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, 800 dozen made. The bouquet has a haunting edge of fruit spice and French oak, the palate a very complex amalgam of juicy black fruits and gently etched tannins, a waft of Provence herbs on the aftertaste.

Robert Parker: 92+ Points

Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2013 Gaia Proprietary Red has red and black plum notes plus crushed blackberries, cedar, cloves, dried Provence herbs and black cherries. Medium-bodied, it fills the palate with perfumed berries and spice box flavors, supported by grainy tannins and a lively backbone, finishing with a lovely herbal lift.

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