Langi Cliff Edge is back! And with its release, so to arrives the flocks of people in our office wanting to get there hands on a bottle.
This year, it seems, the anticipation was even greater as the crowds of keenly awaiting tasters gathered around. Why the sudden influx?
Maybe they too had heard of the immaculate growing conditions of the 2017 vintage ('best in decade' said Halliday). Or the recently awarded 96 Points that James Halliday has bestowed upon the wine (making it the highest scoring Cliff Edge Shiraz yet released). Either way, the wine was destined for greatness, having already sold out at the cellar door in just a few short weeks.
Thankfully it did not disappoint. The 2017 Mount Langi Cliff Edge Shiraz is, and will be, a cracking Cliff Edge. One of the best in fact. Seamless, balanced, and more flavour punch than ever before. The classic-cool climate pepper and the refreshing cleansing undertone of acidity are still there, but sitting above that is some of the most judicious, and fragrant Langi fruit ever seen.
The soft pillowy embrace of blackberry jam, cherry liqueur, chocolate fondant and toasted creamy marshmallow French oak envelop the taster in a sense of warmth, proving why this wine is one of the greatest and most cherished releases in Australian Shiraz.
With such power and presence, it always amazes me to learn of the humble and challenging conditions that Mount Langi Ghiran Grampians Shiraz often grows in. The place is desolate, isolated from most other Victorian wine regions; the whistle of the wind tearing down the Langi Ghiran escarpment kindly reminding you of the near alpine conditions this wine grows in. That it is also one of the last Shiraz vineyards in Australia to be picked is no surprise - the sunlight hours are short; the nights long and cool. It’s perfect Shiraz country; if growing on the fringe of existence and ripeness can be called that.
This vintage, the winemaking team led by Adam Louder (Xanadu & Pierro), have really mastered the Langi signature. The perfect mix of big bold fruit and refreshing texture so idiosyncratic to Mount Langi (and Australian wine) that it should be trademarked. Hand-harvested, portion whole-bunch fermentation and foot-treading in open fermenters and then transferred to 100% French Oak, means these slightly younger vines than the top-tiered 'Ghiran' Shiraz are receiving the exact same treatment as their bigger sibling. In time, these vines will reach an age when they are the equal to the 'Ghiran' and with each passing vintage like this one, it is easy to see the potential.
Sourced from a selection of blocks across the historic Mount Langi Ghiran vineyard situated in the Grampians region of Victoria, where the combination of Langi’s cool climates, old vines and granite sands produce Shiraz with great intensity, purity and finesse.
Vivid, plum red with purple hue, the noe is highly fragrant and enticing with aniseed spice and red and blue berries, perfumed with delicate florals. The palate is bright and juicy. Lashings of red cherry, blackberry and blue fruits coupled with powdery, savoury tannins. Long persistent finishing with lingering spice and mouth-watering freshness.
With imposing, rugged cliff faces casting shadows across ancient vine plantings, Mount Langi Ghiran is set against the dramatic backdrop of the Great Dividing Range in the Grampians region of Victoria. The Mount Langi Ghiran – Aboriginal for home of the yellow-tailed black cockatoo – vineyard is one of the most isolated and unique sites in Australian viticulture.
JAMES HALLIDAY - HALLIDAY'S WINE COMPANION
Part hand, part machine-harvested, open-fermented with a portion of whole bunches, matured in French oak (27% new). An almost perfumed bouquet, ultra-expressive, and an elegant medium-bodied palate of remarkable intensity and clarity, red fruits intermingled with black, the tannins silky smooth.
MIKE BENNIE - THE WINE FRONT
An excellent year for Mount Langi was 2017. Adam Louder is now chief winemaker, since a month, and here he is in front of me pouring the wines of Mount Langi. Now chiselled into history. Quite a thing, No nonsense, good bloke, serious, clever, Mount Langi in good hands. Strong regional pepper character, dark plummy fruit scents, a touch of espresso/dark chocolate. Generous introduction to start the wine. Lithe and fresh to taste, medium weight, tightened with a corkscrew of silty tannins, brooding dark fruit flavours jostling with cola and peppery spice. Sinewy, formed and shapely, long, elegant, lip-smacking goodness. This is an outstanding release of this wine.
TONI PATERSON MW - THE REAL REVIEW
A true example of a cool climate Shiraz. Fragrant spice and cherry fruit with a whisper of pepper and an undertone of pimento. Medium-weight with intense, yet composed, flavour. Tailored and stylish
This has some ripe notes with light blackberries across peppery red cherries and plums. The palate offers a lithe, bright and juicy feel with a succulent and detailed texture.
Deep red/purple colour, with a bouquet of earth and spicy fruit and background pepper, with a undertone of toast and vanilla. The wine is medium-bodied and quite elegant, with less refinement and persistence than the Talus tasted beside it. A more chunky structure. A very good wine and remarkable value.