News & Reviews
"Breaking Benchmarks - Tscharke Barossa Grounds Marananga Collection." Nicks Wine Merchant writes the following..
THE TSCHARKE BAROSSA GROUNDS MARANANGA COLLECTION
There has been a label change. The ‘Barossa Grounds Collection” now supersedes the 'Glaymond' label. This is not a superficial marketing gesture. It reflects a more defined approach to viticulture that promotes the vineyard as champion. In fact, two single vineyards from one sub district, 'Marananga', generally considered the tenderloin portion of the Barossa. Tscharke comments, "Over the years, living life as a grape grower and winemaker in the Barossa you draw conclusions as to where the greatest reds are being grown". If you’re Penfolds, Torbreck, Standish etc, and you're aiming for an achingly intense, ultra premium, single vineyard expression that sledgehammers the benchmarks, you go to Marananga. (Recall the almost immediate sell out of Penfold’s Bin 150 Shiraz last year).
Tscharke is custodian of two sites here: 'Gnadenfrei', which sits on a ridge of pinkish quartzite, and shallow red/brown earths, and 'Stonewell', a plot of schist and limestone beneath heavy to very light clays. These are relatively marginal growing conditions on some of the oldest soils in the Barossa, where rugged slopes give greater diurnal temperature variation than the valley floor. Fruit typically ripens five to seven days earlier, a result of a warmer microclimate. The vineyards tend to be much lower yielding, the canopies less dense and the dappled sunlight that penetrates into the fruiting zone encourages an earlier onset of flavour accumulation.
Tscharke has scaled back production to focus all his energies on specific areas of these terroirs that formed the backbone of the Glaymond wines. It's an exercise in 'micro classification' and super-assiduous fruit selection. Now only the very best of the best make it into his new top tier. The rest is declasssifed into his $15 bargain basement 'Barossa Gold' reds. The 'Barossa Grounds' wines aim for more adult expressions from the Valley. While they deliver typical Barossian lavishness and superb fruit purity, they probably offer more promising cellaring potential than any of Tscharke's previous efforts.
If money is no issue, we ask that you continue buying trophy Barossa reds and let your friends admire the labels. Leave wines like these for the rest of us.
The last time we experienced such a complete collection of single site wines, we were tasting Clarendon Hills, which now sell between $60-$400+/bottle (see page 6-7 for the 2009 offer). Comparisons between the two producers are not unwarranted. The 2010 Barossa Grounds Collection reveals four bargains and three varietals that reach new heights in unexpected territory. Like Clarendon Hills, old vine Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon take on grandiose dimensions, while new life is breathed into Mataro, not to mention Tscharke's glorious sole expression of Marananga Shiraz. None of the wines are fined or filtered. This is Tscharke's 10th year since inheriting the vineyards from his grandfather, Gerhard. It marks a timely turning point, magnifed by a God given vintage that will go down with the likes of 1998 and 2002 as a collector's must.
Unashamedly one of the biggest Cabernets to come out of the Barossa. The spearmint twist makes for an intrigueing experience.
Sourced from the Stonewell vineyard, the fruit was basket pressed and aged in 50% new Nevers French barriques for twenty months. Super saturated inky black colour with very deep black crimson red hue. The nose exhibits lifted aromas of cassis / ripe blackcurrant followed by a touch of liquorice, cedar and spice with a light spearmint overlay. Full bodied, the palate possesses intense, fully ripened Cabernet flavours of blackcurrant, cassis, an interesting touch of spearmint, followed by hints of cedar and spice. Solid but fine grained tannins. Excellent depth with long ripe blackcurrant, spearmint, cedar and spice aftertaste.
Cellar 5-6 years (2017-2018)