HALLIDAY TOP 100: Top Reds under $40 - 2021
In 2019 I named it Hydra, as I had not only my own wines to make, but a stable of small producers I was consulting to, a new foray into spirits production, and another child recently born. A many headed beast indeed!
The wine is, as usual, a blend of a couple of different sites south of Great Western – notably Westgate Vineyard (51%, 50 year old vines, harvested March 14th) Hyde Park Vineyard (39%, 21 year old vines, harvested March 12th) and 10% Grenache from Arawatta Vineyard harvested on March 28th. All fermented separately using indigenous yeasts, some ferments whole bunch, some destemmed for a final whole bunch of 40%. The ferments are typically pressed at around 18-21 days and matured in older French puncheons and barriques. In 2019 we included a small percentage of new oak as well (16%) from Chassin cooperage. The wine was matured in barrel for 11 months, bottled just before the following harvest without fining or filtration, as is usually our way. 2019 was a forward but structured vintage, and the wine has great impact and density, but real light and shade. I think it will age for a long time.
"It’s whole-bunch-influenced Syrah but it also includes 10% Grampians Grenache. You have to love what Rory Lane/The Story is up to.
Another egg, another bird. This is both complex and taut but it’s all there and it’s all good. Peppers and twigs, red cherries and black, herb notes and woodsmoke. Savouriness is writ large here. It’s evolving slowly, in its own time; it’s still bound up, and needs to be decanted. But there quality is clear. As indeed is the value." - Campbell Mattinson, 94 points, The Wine Front
"Rory Lane has changed the label of his Grampians syrah every year since inception in 2004. The 2019 Hyrdra symbolises the maker's Herculean effort to get everything in his life under control. This is another strong Grampians example of the breed (shiraz) with the addition of 10% grenache. Bursts out of the blocks, so fresh and arresting in tantalising spice and bright red/black berries. Keeps the pulse racing on the palate with a vibrancy and density of fruit, with restrained oak. Can imagine it settling down for a long time in bottle." - Jeni Port, 95 points, Wine Companion.
"Has built on its layers of savoury/spicy cool grown shiraz flavours over the past year, adding weight and depth but without compromising its freshness. The lingering aftertaste is special, with sparklets of blackberry and blackcurrant. Oh, and vigneron Rory Lane has a degree in ancient Greek literature." - James Halliday, 97 points, Halliday Top 100.
Average Vine Age 35 years
Total Acidity 5.9g/l
350 dozen produced
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