Considered to be amongst the oldest vines in Australia, and the oldest still flourishing vines in the world, this Pinot Meunier, sourced from the famed Concongella vineyard in the Grampians is like opening up a dusty old history book in an antique store.
The ancient, gnarled vines have continue to bear fruit for over 150 years; with intensity and concentration rising to the fore (at the expense of yields, which given the age, are infantissimal).
Not only is this wine a museum release from the Best's cellars, it is also a wine made in only the most auspicious and promising vintages, and has a cellaring life that few other wines in the world could come close to touching.
This 2005 Best's Old Vine Meunier will hold its pin-boned and delicate form for decades, maturing and wisening with the passing years, rewarding those of you who are willing to wait even longer before unearthing the treasure that this wine will become.
My Wine Guy has been fortunate enough to try some near 40 year old Meuniers from Bests, and to this day the wines still hold a fond place in our hearts. Incredible. Unique. Delicate. Worth every penny.
The grapes: Referred to as 'Millers Burgundy' in Henry Best’s daily journal, these original Concongella vines are considered among the oldest vines in Australia. In culinary terms Meunier means dusted in flour. The vine leaves have a fine white gossamer appearance, hence 'Millers Burgundy'.
Vintage Notes: Almost average rainfall culminating in good rains in mid August gave the best start to the growing season for some years. After the good August rain in which we actually had some run off, the rain petered out and frosts occurred on Sept 28th and 30th, and again on Oct 9th. Excellent recovery from the frost resulted in only a 40% loss . Favourable weather conditions in Autumn resulted in a trouble free vintage. A very good crop considering. (Taken from the journal of winemaker Viv Thomson).
Silky smooth, round and full flavoured with a rich warmth so typical of this wine. Soft tannins with well blended oak. A delight to drink.
Dubbed by James Halliday as one of Australia’s best-kept secrets, Best’s Wines in Great Western Victoria is home to vines dating back to 1867. Today Best’s winemaking team of Adam Wadewitz and Viv Thomson are on fine form keeping this revered name among the top echelon of Australian wine producers. Henry Best was a butcher turned winemaker during the Victorian Gold Rush. With the help of local miners, he built the original Best’s winery and cellars that are still in use today. With a meticulous approach to sourcing only the finest grapes for winemaking, Henry’s vineyard soon prospered gaining him much acclaim as far as England and throughout Europe. Upon Henry’s death in 1920, his son Charles sold the business to Frederick Thomson. Under the careful eye of fourth generation wine producer, Viv Thomson, Best’s celebrated winemaking legacy continues today. Best’s is comprised of three vineyards: the original Concongella at Great Western, St Andrew’s at Lake Boga and Salvation Hills at Rhymney Reef with vine ages from 5-135 years. From these sites, the Best’s Great Western range of wines is made. This range encompasses three tiers across various price points: Icon Range, including the Thomson Family Shiraz, Great Western Range and Regional Selection. Despite the long history at Best’s winemakers Viv Thomson and Adam Wadewitz still remain committed to improving quality where possible through work both in the vineyard and the winery. It is their vision that each wine produced expresses the vineyard, vintage and region.
HUON HOOKE - THE REAL REVIEW
This is a most impressive vintage of this wine: deeper, darker, richer and fuller in body than most vintages I've tasted: a real mouthful of serious wine, loaded with glorious aromas and flavours. The colour is deep and bright, the bouquet floral and faintly minty but also loaded with a panoply of fruit and developed terrestrial aromas. Deep, fleshy and lasting on the palate. A gob-smacking wine.