2012 Hentley Farm "The Beast" Single Block Shiraz Barossa Valley (Elsewhere $85+)

SKU #1246104 96 points James Halliday

 *2015 Winery of the Year* Hentley Farm has a single-minded focus on producing what is as close as you're ever going find in Australia to a Grand Cru Burgundy or a First Growth Bordeaux. Estate-grown grapes come from a single block high on the hill, with shallow soils and even sunlight exposure resulting in very small berries. Deep, saturated crimson-purple paints the scene for a wine bottled Jan '14, with untold layers of black fruits, ripe tannins and integrated oak; bitter chocolate and poached plum flavours are in the mix too. Tasted 2 months after being bottled, but the requisite balance is already apparent, and will guide the long-term development of the wine.  (3/2014)

95 points James Suckling

 Made from fruit selected from a single block on the western ridge of the Barossa Valley, Hentley Farm 'The Beast' is a robustly structured Shiraz showing great fruit density and impressive drive across the palate. Dense black plum and berry fruits come to the fore supported by hints of liquorice, black olives, macerated summer berries, kirsch, dark chocolate, well-judged spicy oak and purple-flower notes. Impressive heft and flow across the palate with excellent fruit purity, ripe melt-in-the-mouth tannins and a sense of freshness throughout its length - all considering the richness of the fruit on display. An impressive wine from one of the region's current stars. Drink in 2020. (JS)  (1/2015)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2012 Shiraz The Beast is just a little closed at this youthful stage, but with coaxing reveals an abundance of warm blackberry and black cherry notes complemented by licorice, marmite toast, dark chocolate and menthol nuances. The densely packed, full-bodied palate does not disappoint with tons of spice and savory layers on offer, supported by finely grained tannins and harmonious acidity, finishing with great length. (LPB)  (6/2015)

94 points Wine Spectator

 Lithe and expressive, dripping with plum, blackberry, mint and floral flavors, gliding across the refined tannins and lingering on the finish with expression and elegance. Has presence and tremendous depth. Drink now through 2025. (Speaking of Hentley Farm) Over the years the wines have gone from very nice to extraordinary...(HS)  (8/2015)

K&L Notes

Winemaker's Notes: "On the nose the wine has dense dark fruits, black olive, tapenade, and earthy aromas. Black fruits persist on the palate; particularly blackberries bursting from the mid palate. Tannin profile is prominent, particularly at the front, but does not detract from the great length. Like all great vineyard sites, this block’s expression of rich fruit and ripe, supple tannins result from the interaction between two key variables: soil and microclimate. Red clay loam topsoil overlying massive clay with bluestone at depth allow the creation of naturally low yields with intensive flavours. The block’s position is elevated and enjoys long, even sunlight exposure, further intensifying the aromatic and flavour profile."

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By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/7/2016 | Send Email
An exceptional bottle of Shiraz. From a single hillside parcel singled out for extraordinary quality. The wine is aged in 70% new French oak for 22 months. Black fruited, with deep soil tones, smoked meat, bramble, exotic spice. Palate coating texture with perfectly groomed, fine but persistent tannins. Lovely balance of raw power and refined elegance. World class wine – worth every penny of the asking price.
Drink from 2016 to 2026

By: Ryan Moses | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/7/2016 | Send Email
This is Syrah with depth, concentration, and balance. It is opulent, has a sense of place, and never goes overboard. It will also rival those in its class that go for a much higher price point. If you enjoy this style, it is a spectacular vintage and bottling from Hentley Farm, a producer that should be on your radar if not already.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Shiraz/Syrah

- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.
Country:

Australia

- While it is true that the greatest strides in Australian winemaking have come in the last 30 years or so, commercial viticulture began as early as the 1820s and has developed uninterrupted ever since. The majority of the great wine regions are in the southeastern area of the continent, including Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, McLaren Vale, and Coonawarra in South Australia; Yarra Yarra Valley and Pyrenees in Victoria; and the Upper and Lower Hunter Valleys in New South Wales. Many of the wines from Southeastern Australia are based on Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon and various blends including Grenache and Mourvedre. In Western Australia, along the Margaret River, great strides are being made with Pinot Noir as well as Bordeaux-styled reds. There are also many world-class releases of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc from the land Down Under, where Riesling also enjoys international acclaim. While many equate Aussie wines with “value,” there are more than a few extremely rare and pricey options, which never fail to earn the highest ratings from wine publications and critics throughout the world. View a list of bestselling items from Australia.
Sub-Region:

South Australia

Specific Appellation:

Barossa Valley

Alcohol Content (%): 15