Dual-trophy-winning Block 6 Shiraz heads BlackJack's latest red releases
Aug 09, 2004
The BlackJack 2002 Block 6 Shiraz, which won two major trophies at the 2004 Melbourne Wine Show, is among three new releases from this Bendigo red-wine specialist.
* BlackJack 2002 Block 6 Shiraz ($30)
* BlackJack 2002 Cabernet Merlot ($25)
* Chortle’s Edge 2002 Bendigo Shiraz ($18)
The BlackJack 2002 Block 6 Shiraz, which won the Premier's Gold Trophy for best Victorian wine of the show and the Winery Supplies Trophy for best shiraz in the open classes at the 2004 Royal Melbourne Wine Show, is among three new releases from this Bendigo red-wine specialist.
"It's obviously pleasing to gain such recognition in classes described by the judges as 'very strong' and where we know that the competition is particularly fierce," said Ian McKenzie, who shares winemaking duties with BlackJack Wines' cofounder Ken Pollock.
"I suppose it's the Premier's Trophy that will gain most attention, but we value the Winery Supplies Trophy just as highly, simply because it came in open competition against the best shirazes entered from all around Australia.
"It's also nice to show the South Australians that excellence with shiraz isn't entirely their domain."
Block 6 Shiraz is a new addition to the BlackJack range and this month's Melbourne Wine Show successes certainly vindicate the owners' decision to keep the fruit and wine separate.
Although Block 6 is directly adjacent to the original BlackJack shiraz planting, it features a different soil profile and has been planted with a different clone of shiraz.
"Though our original intention was to blend all our shiraz into just one red each year, we've always picked, fermented and matured the Block 6 grapes separately," said Ian.
"The Block 6 always shows a more Rhone-like structure, while the wine we make from the other blocks is a more typically Australian shiraz style. In the end we've decided that we prefer the two wines separately rather than blended."
BlackJack 2002 Block 6 Shiraz was made in traditional open fermenters, hand-plunged and aged in American oak barriques (about 30 per cent new) for 22 months.
"In typical Central Victorian style, the wine shows abundant spice and pepper as well as berry characters," said Ian McKenzie.
"There's some subtle oak coming through as well. The palate is medium weight, with good balance of fruit, acid and tannin. I'd suggest it has cellaring potential of at least 6-8 years."
The cool, dry 2002 vintage produced excellent quality cabernet sauvignon and merlot at Bendigo, with smaller-than-usual berries providing intensity of flavour in a wine that also shows quite a degree of finesse and elegance.
Winemaking techniques for the BlackJack 2002 Cabernet Merlot were similar to those used for the Block 6 Shiraz - hand-plunged in traditional open fermenters, then aged in small oak barriques (this time French oak, again about 30 per cent new) for 22 months.
"The nose shows mint, spice, cassis, blackberries and dusty cedar characters," said Ian McKenzie.
"These flavours continue on to the palate, which is medium-bodied, complex, elegant and well balanced - an excellent result from what we regard as a very good year for cabernet at Bendigo."
While the BlackJack 2002 Block 6 Shiraz and 2002 Cabernet Merlot are made 100 per cent from estate-grown fruit, the Chortle's Edge 2002 Shiraz mainly incorporates fruit grown in the Bridgewater sub-district of Bendigo.
"It's a more fruit-driven style than the other two - what we like to call a 'Monday-to-Thursday red', but one which still shows distinctive regional shiraz characters of cherry and plum," said Ian.
"It's drinking beautifully at the moment and will reward cellaring for the next 2-3 years."
All the wines are made as naturally as possible - no tannin additions, no fining and no filtration at bottling.
For further information please contact Ian McKenzie on 0428 126 539