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Two Hands, Twelftree Shine in International Wine Cellar

The July/August 2014 issue of Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar features a big new Australia report (subscription required), and both Two Hands and Twelftree are star performers. Here are the scores and reviews from the IWC’s veteran Australia expert, Josh Raynolds:

TWO HANDS WINES

95  2012 Two Hands Wines Shiraz Coach House Block Single Vineyard Seppeltsfield Road Greenock Barossa Valley
Inky purple. Heady, exotically perfumed aromas of black and blue fruit liqueur, licorice pastille, sandalwood and vanilla, with smoky Indian spices adding complexity. Broad and deeply concentrated, offering sweet cassis and cherry-vanilla flavors and suggestions of mocha, candied violet and cola. Reaches every corner of the palate and shows superb power and lift on the long, youthfully tannic finish, with the cassis and smoke notes echoing.

94  2012 Two Hands Wines Shiraz Barney’s Block Single Vineyard McMurtrie Road McLaren Vale
Inky purple. A flamboyantly perfumed nose evokes ripe black and blue fruits, vanilla, pipe tobacco, incense and floral pastilles, with a smoky mineral quality adding lift. Palate-staining blueberry liqueur and cherry-vanilla flavors expand with air while maintaining vibrancy and focus. Shows a velvety texture and becomes spicier on the finish, which is framed by smooth, late-arriving tannins. This brawny but surprisingly graceful shiraz should age nicely on its sheer fruit concentration.

93  2012 Two Hands Wines Shiraz Lily’s Garden McLaren Vale
Youthful purple color. Black and blue fruits, licorice, lavender and smoky oak on the perfumed nose. Supple and expansive on the palate, offering intense cassis and blueberry flavors and a hint of candied flowers. Shows very good energy and depth, finishing sweet, velvety and long, with slow-mounting tannins and lingering spiciness.

93  2012 Two Hands Wines Shiraz Bella’s Garden Barossa
Brilliant violet color. Powerful, deeply pitched aromas of blue fruit preserves, licorice, incense and mocha are lifted by a sexy Indian spice quality. Stains the palate with sweet dark fruit and cocoa flavors that gain energy and lift with aeration. Rich and expansive but lively as well. Closes velvety and very long, with lingering smokiness and smooth, harmonious tannins.

93  2012 Two Hands Wines Shiraz Samantha’s Garden Clare Valley
Inky ruby. High-pitched dark berry, floral pastille, Asian spice and mineral scents, with notes of sassafras and licorice emerging with air. Smooth, sweet and expansive in the mouth, offering intense black raspberry and candied violet flavors lifted by juicy acidity. Deeply concentrated but lively too, finishing with excellent clarity and smooth tannins.

93  2012 Two Hands Wines Shiraz Harry & Edward’s Garden Langhorne Creek
Inky ruby. Sexy dark berry and floral pastille scents are underscored by smoky minerals and a hint of licorice. Gently chewy blackberry and bitter cherry flavors stain the palate picking up smokiness with air. A spicy quality adds lift and bite to the penetrating, mineral-laced finish, which clings with excellent clarity and even tannins.

93  2012 Two Hands Wines Max’s Garden Shiraz Heathcote
Glass-staining ruby. Pungent, highly perfumed scents of ripe blackcurrant, cherry-cola, licorice and vanilla. A smoky quality emerges with air, along with suggestions of minerals, violet and cracked pepper. Stains the palate but comes off as elegant and animated thanks to its mineral component. Dusty tannins build on the finish, which leaves smoke, peppery spice and floral pastille notes behind.

91+  2012 Two Hands Wines Shiraz Sophie’s Garden Padthaway
Bright purple. Aromas of dark berry skin, cherry pit, mocha and licorice are complemented by a smoky overtone and a hint of black pepper. Chewy blackberry and bitter cherry flavors gain sweetness with air and show very good focus thanks to tangy acidity. Dusty tannins give grip to the lingering smoky finish. Give this youthful shiraz some air time.

90  2013 Two Hands Wines Brilliant Disguise Moscato Barossa Valley (500 ml)
Pale yellow. Heady poached pear and pit fruit aromas are lifted by a hint of orange zest, with exotic floral and anise accents adding complexity. Juicy, appealingly sweet pit fruit and melon flavors coat the palate and are braced by youthful minerality. A tangy citrus zest quality adds bite to the clinging finish.

TWELFTREE WINES

93  2012 Twelftree Wines Grenache Schuller Blewitt Springs McLaren Vale
Vivid ruby-red. Displays energetic, spice-accented blackberry and candied cherry scents, along with notes of lavender and woodsmoke. Smooth and expansive on entry, with sweet dark berry flavors gaining energy and a subtle mineral quality with air. Zesty berry skin and cracked pepper notes linger on the penetrating finish, which shows excellent clarity and fine-grained tannins. This lively grenache drinks wonderfully now but has the depth and balance to reward cellaring.

92  2012 Twelftree Wines Shiraz Schuller Blewitt Springs McLaren Vale
Opaque ruby. Intense dark berry, floral pastille and oak spice aromas, along with suggestions of cracked pepper and woodsmoke. Sweet, penetrating blackberry and boysenberry flavors show excellent clarity and a velvety texture. Becomes spicier and livelier with air and finishes very long, with a strong punch of blue fruit and supple, harmonious tannins that build slowly.

92  2012 Twelftree Wines Grenache/Mataro Greenock-Ebenezer Barossa Valley
Bright ruby. Ripe cherry and raspberry compote on the deeply perfumed nose, with a peppery element adding lift. Juicy and focused on the palate, offering intense red fruit and floral pastille flavors and a hint of bitter chocolate. Shows very good energy on the incisive finish, which is firmed by fine-grained tannins and given snap by juicy acidity.

92  2012 Twelftree Wines Grenache Moritz Blewitt Springs McLaren Vale
Bright ruby-red. Aromas of black raspberry, cherry compote and rose oil are underscored by a zesty mineral quality and a hint of licorice. Spicy and incisive on the palate, with bitter cherry and red berry liqueur flavors opening slowly with aeration. The finish echoes the cherry and rose notes and shows very good focus and thrust and mounting, fine-grained tannins.

91  2012 Twelftree Wines Grenache Airport Greenock Barossa Valley
Brilliant ruby-red. Blackberry, cherry and dried rose aromas are lifted by a smoky mineral quality and pick up a hint of licorice with air. Chewy dark berry flavors become more energetic with air, showing very good clarity and spicy lift. Closes on a bitter berry skin note, with smooth tannins building slowly and adding grip.

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