2010 Chapoutier - Laughton "Cluster M45" (La Pleiade) Shiraz Heathcote Victoria (Pre-Arrival)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Lisa Perotti-Brown 95 points: Deep garnet-purple, Cluster M45's 2010 Shiraz presents intense blueberry, blackberry and baking spice aromas over notes of mocha, tree bark and black pepper. Full-bodied, rich and densely packed in the mouth, the generous flesh is well-supported by balanced, medium to high acidity and a medium level of velvety tannins, finishing long. It's tempting to drink now though it should drink best 2014-2024+. Robert Parker 96 points: These Chapoutier wines are sometimes reviewed by my colleagues David Schildknect in his Languedoc-Roussillon report and Lisa Perrotti-Brown in her reviews of Australian wines, so I will just list the wines, my score, and the region from which they emerge. They are of very high quality and deserve readers' attention. Hopefully my prose has convinced more than a handful of readers to try these remarkable wines from one of the most fascinating and compelling personalities in the entire wine world, and one dedicated to the highest quality.This Chapoutier and Laughton (Jasper Hill) collaboration wine is known as Cluster M45 in the US market and La Pleiade in the rest of the world.
"There is a complex array of spicy red and black fruits in a web of fine but persistent tannins, plus French oak on a palate notable more for its length than its weight."
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Inky purple. A heady bouquet displays scents of candied dark berries, cherry-vanilla and incense, along with a smoky topnote. Lush and creamy in texture, offering palate-staining blackberry and cherry compote flavors and a hint of olive. Soft tannins build on the clinging finish, which leaves notes of blue fruits and licorice behind.
In spring 1998, Michel Chapoutier and Ron Laughton planted new vineyards on the Cambrian soils of Heathcote in Central Victoria. Both were excited about the use of original Syrah cuttings taken from the hillside of Tain l'Hermitage in the Northern Rhone. The source vineyard in Hermitage was one of the few that survived phylloxera in the early 1900’s, making the donor vines 80-100 years old. Quarantined in Australia and then propagated without the use of rootstock, the vines were planted alongside Australian Shiraz Vines to produce a best of both worlds vineyard named La Pleiade (Play-ahd) after the star cluster visible from Australia and France to celebrate our global friendship in wine. The best fruit from this unique vineyard is chosen for quality more than quantity, there are only about 500 cases made of this brilliant cuvee. The vineyard is farmed Biodynamically.