2016 Standish The Relic Shiraz-Viognier

Year: 2016
Appellation: Barossa Valley
Country: Australia
Wine Advocate: 99
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 16.0%
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"Everything about Standish's 2016 The Relic Shiraz-Viognier is remarkable, starting with the ridiculous color. It's so dark, so purple, so vibrant. Then the nose boasts soaring florals and stone fruits, while the palate delivers fresh blueberries and dried spices. It's full-bodied but creamy-textured, with supple tannins and concentrated fruit that lingers on the plush finish. Just awesome stuff.

I consider Dan Standish the reigning king of Barossa Shiraz. On a conference-room table at Peter Lehmann, surrounded by other top-quality wines, his 2016s completely bowled me over for their intensity, complexity and harmony. And, according to Standish, 2016 was an easy vintage. One-and-a-half inches of rain in January slowed down the ripening until harvest could take place under slightly cooler conditions. "We had tiny berries, we had to do nothing in the vineyards," he said. Sourced from single old-vine plantings in the subregions of Ebenezer, Marananga, Greenock and Hutton Vale, this is a prodigious collection of wines, meticulously produced in tiny quantities from old vines and low yields." (WA)

Winery Notes:
Like Standish Shiraz, the grapes for this wine are sourced from the Standish Family Vineyard – A 98-year old block of dry grown, organically farmed Shiraz on Siegersdorf Road, Vine Vale, Barossa Valley. The vines were planted on their own roots in 1912 and soils consist of fine white sand over deep heavy red clay at 302m above sea level.

In this case, the Shiraz is co-fermented with Viognier skins which end up comprising 4% of the blend. Fragrantly scented, taughtly structured and finely poised – this femme fatale represents the more reserved face of the Barossa. Delicately portioned and beautifully balanced its fragrant notes of acacia petal, crème de cassis and parfait amour are supported by an underlying swath of Szechuan pepper, Guatemalan cocoa and damp limestone. Supple, lithe and without any hint of ‘palate drag’, its youthful ease shouldn’t detract from the sea of promise it holds for the future.