Micro Wines Geelong Shiraz 2018Spiced plums
Two of the people I respect most in the wine world did something totally unexpected a couple years back: they left successful, high-profile sommelier positions working for the world’s number one restaurant, Eleven Madison Park. They moved to Australia to work in restaurants and make wine. It may not have looked perfect on paper, but that’s because you don’t know Jon and Jane. They don’t rest on laurels. They are lifelong learners who continue to grow and challenge themselves. Jane found herself running the wine program at the famed Attica in Melbourne, and John found himself running multiple restaurant wine programs, working harvest, and launching his own side project, Micro Wines.
I know Jon’s palate. He and I passed our Master Sommelier exam together, and I got to enjoy watching him do his incredible, tableside service at Eleven Madison Park. He’s a master of hospitality and has one of the best minds in the business. I have been so excited watching Micro wines develop as a project, and I immediately knew the wines fit our ethos at Crunchy Red Fruit: organically-grown, no use of chemicals in the vineyard or winery, and minimal sulfur addition at bottling. The goal is to express the true nature and flavor of the vineyard and grape that the wine is made from. That to me is what makes this whole endeavor compelling. It’s not about the winemaker padding their ego or creating a flavor profile based off of a recipe (the 90s way of Australian and US winemaking), it’s about showcasing something special about a piece of land that only a vineyard can create.
The 2018 Micro Wines Shiraz is sourced from a vineyard planted in 1987, on soils made of ancient marine sea bed overlayed with volcanic basalt and alluvial river deposits. The vineyard sits in the Moorabool River Valley of the Geelong (pronounced jhe-long) GI about an hour west of Melbourne.
Whole berry, and a small percentage of whole bunch fermentation gives the wine its heady aromatic lift of fresh purple blossoms, ripe black plums, and salty herbs. Tannins are velvety and subtle, rounded out by a year in a 1200L, 7-year old cask. The wine has enjoyed nearly two years in bottle before its release. It not only jumps out of the glass aromatically, but oscillates between its savory and fruity flavors as it evolves in the glass.
Decanting is recommended, but not required.
- Blend100% Syrah