Adelaide Hills South Australia
Two Trophies, two Gold Medals, a finalist for the Jimmy Watson in 2013, plus scores from local journalists of 94 and 96. This is the new style of Australian Shiraz, focused on elegance rather than power. Sophistication, rather than over the top fruit flavours and oak. It reminds me of the great wines from Northern Rhone and Cote Rotie – another cool climate region.
The Lane is a show piece winery in the cool climate region of Adelaide Hills. The Edwards family planted the vineyard in 1996, originally supplying fruit for Hardy’s Starvedog Lane label, before they decided to go it on their own in 2005, focusing on single vineyard wines from their 56 hectare estate. Their rather basic philosophy of “grown in our backyard- every berry’ belies what they are trying to achieve and in the case of the 2012 Block 14 – have achieved. That sense of place; that this wine could only come from this vineyard. In other words “Terroir”. All the great wines from around the world have this sense of place and we are very excited to have this wine in our current selection.
The Edwards family can be rightly proud of their achievement over 20 short years, where they have focused on their own style, rather than chasing what was fashionable at the time. (Big big full boded Barossa Shiraz). Cooler climate, more elegant wines are now all the rage, so they can relax for they are now the fashionable, trendy young kids in the skinny jeans. They also have one of the most popular cellars doors and restaurants in the country, regularly booked out and becoming a wedding function favourite.
Sourced from a single block (Block 14) at an elevation of 450m it has a North facing aspect, perfect for collecting the sun in this part of the world. During the growing season they also practice bunch thinning, where grapes are dropped to the ground, reducing the yield which allows the remaining grapes to fully ripen. Something the winemakers love to do when needed, but a practice the bank manager hates.
This is a commanding, impressive wine. A fine example of just how far cool-climate Shiraz has come in Australia. Don’t expect a blockbuster. In fact I am a little surprised this wine did so well on the show circuit, for it is hard for these elegant wines to stand out amongst other bigger wines. I guess the judges know what they are talking about. But it is on the dinner table where this wine really shines.
The wine is inky black and vibrant, with lifted violets, wildflowers and red fruits on the nose. But it is on the palate where this wine really excels. Soft, silky and plush with a minerality that shines through, followed by black fruits and pepper. An excellent wine from a future “superstar” winery.