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Spinifex Bête Noir 2021

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Spinifex Bête Noir 2021
Producer Spinifex
Region, Country Barossa Valley, Australia
Bottle Size 750ml
Case Size 12
Product Code 21651-750

A Bête Noir is the bane of one’s existence and refers to the multitude of small parcels that go into this blend. Pete Schell’s ‘21 is a blend of old-vine Barossa Shiraz and Eden Valley Shiraz sourced from vines across nine small family vineyards of Barossa’s sub-regions—with the eastern foothills, Moppa, Eden Valley and Light Pass all playing contrasting roles. Vineyard age ranges between 25 and 125 years, with “65 years being a fair average across the blend”, according to Schell. So, 100% old vine Shiraz from a great vintage in the hands of a master blender. Wonder how this is going to turn out…

 

The proportion of whole clusters varied from “everything to nothing” depending on the vineyard, with roughly 35% in the final cuvée. Vinified with indigenous yeast fermentation, élevage on lees in new (35%) and seasoned French oak barrels—ranging in capacity from 225-litre to 4500-litre—for 20 months before bottling without filtration.

 

“It’s a really good year”, offers Pete Schell of 2021, in typically economical fashion. Factoring in his penchant for understatement, “a really good year” for Schell means something a little more for the rest of us. Inspired by the classically styled Barossa reds from the 70s and 80s (bottles plundered from friend's parents’ cellars), it’s a refined, medium-bodied, detailed and aromatic wine with the ‘last-man-standing’ confidence of a truly exciting vintage.

Spinifex Bête Noir 2021

Reviews

“It’s flush with fruit but there’s a meatiness to this and its churned with tannin too, grainy tannin. Charred meats, blackberries and blueberries, a floral element and fist loads of roasted spice. It’s bold but neat, tannic but not at the expense of the overall flow. Excellent gear, this.”
94 points, Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front
“Deep, bold purple-red colour; aromas of sweet ripe black fruits, blackberry and mulberry, vanilla/chocolate too, the palate full bodied and fruit-sweet at the core, then some astringency comes in thanks to acidity and tannin—but it's all in balance. Plenty happening here. A promising shiraz that will reward patient cellaring.”
95 points, Huon Hooke, The Real Review
“Pete Schell's Bête Noir is a shiraz blended across a selection of Barossan grounds including a portion from the cooler Eden Valley. Typically sporting a super-saturated, magenta-splashed hue with aromas of bright plum, black cherry and blueberry fruits cut with hints of violets, brown spice, ironstone, dark chocolate, smoked meats, cherry confit and earth. Glossy and impressively pure, there's ferrous edge to the tight tannins and an acid line that propels the pure fruit briskly across the palate, finishing elegant yet opulent.”
95 points, Dave Brooks, winecompanion.com.au

Reviews

“It’s flush with fruit but there’s a meatiness to this and its churned with tannin too, grainy tannin. Charred meats, blackberries and blueberries, a floral element and fist loads of roasted spice. It’s bold but neat, tannic but not at the expense of the overall flow. Excellent gear, this.”
94 points, Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front
“Deep, bold purple-red colour; aromas of sweet ripe black fruits, blackberry and mulberry, vanilla/chocolate too, the palate full bodied and fruit-sweet at the core, then some astringency comes in thanks to acidity and tannin—but it's all in balance. Plenty happening here. A promising shiraz that will reward patient cellaring.”
95 points, Huon Hooke, The Real Review
“Pete Schell's Bête Noir is a shiraz blended across a selection of Barossan grounds including a portion from the cooler Eden Valley. Typically sporting a super-saturated, magenta-splashed hue with aromas of bright plum, black cherry and blueberry fruits cut with hints of violets, brown spice, ironstone, dark chocolate, smoked meats, cherry confit and earth. Glossy and impressively pure, there's ferrous edge to the tight tannins and an acid line that propels the pure fruit briskly across the palate, finishing elegant yet opulent.”
95 points, Dave Brooks, winecompanion.com.au

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