Standish The Relic Shiraz Viognier 2021 - In Bond

Standish The Relic Shiraz Viognier 2021 - In Bond

  • Australia
  • Shiraz
  • Viognier
  • ABV 15.5
  • Zalto Denk'Art Bordeaux Glass

98 Points - Erin Larkin “The 2021 The Relic Shiraz-Viognier is made with fruit from the Hongell family vineyard, Krondorf. It was made with 1% Viognier co-fermented, with 25% whole bunches in the ferment this year, up from 15% to 20% in 2020. The Relic is one of Australia’s greatest Shiraz Viognier wines, and it’s a sure thing each year for quality and execution of style. In 2020, it was my preferred wine of the collection for its savory, meaty/bacon fat/bloody character. All elements were in balance, and it managed a savory and floral drive within the same glass. Super cool. This year, I love the wine for all the opposite reasons. The 2021 is creamy, plush and almost sybaritic in its outlay of fruit and tannin. At 15.5% alcohol, it's the highest alcohol wine in the 2021 release, yet it doesn’t show that via warmth or harshness in the wine. The whole-bunch component is up slightly this year from last, and honestly, it feels completely invisible in the wine. This is undoubtedly the biggest, most plush wine in the collection, but true to form for Standish, it is balanced and fresh, with a long future in front of it.”

I love drinking wine and greet each, new Standish vintage with much excitement. It’s a special occasion which demands respect and preparation. I couldn’t imagine sampling the collection outside of my small office.  I believe I create the conditions to truly appreciate each, new collection. I sit (admittedly on and off) with just the four wines – proper professional attention. Distracting surroundings are a non-event. Each wine takes hours to sample. Some / many will believe this is unnecessary however, I respectfully disagree. These wines are in their developing infancy and require several decades to provide a full picture.

Each wine constantly evolves which makes tasting notes accurate to the time of that event. Of course, there is nothing wrong with conveying that moment of time however, I have attempted to paint the fuller picture, albeit starting with the first chapter, the final one being written in full maturity – some 30-40 years from now.

2021 is a unique vintage and unlike any Standish wine I have sampled (bearing in mind we have sold several cuvees since the ’05 vintage). The vintage can be defined by breadth, depth, muscularity, precision, detail and a salty savouriness which waves a magic wand across the quartet. Collectors will delight in the knowledge that these wines will survive longer than the majority of those who purchase the vintage. Drinking windows are a pure guesstimate as I believe these wines will ultimately shut down – come back in 2030 and let’s see what’s unfurled with each cuvee…

The cuvees were decanted on the evening of Monday (27 Feb) and sampled Wednesday (1 March) yet, and now standard with Standish wines, they’re inclined not to show their true glory until they’ve spent a substantial time in the glass. Take II occurred on Thursday morning. My tasting notes are an amalgamation of both events and an unfathomable number of sips and swirls…

99-100 Points – Stuart McCloskey “I find the bouquet astonishing. Let’s be honest, they all are however, the ’21 Relic has been dialled up a notch. Florals aplenty along with metal shavings, nori, fennel seed, preserved mulberry jam, blueberry compote, cassis, dark chocolate, new leather, violet, sweet anise and pencil shavings. The flavours keep building – this wine doesn’t stop giving. Expansive, layered, incredibly deep, seamless and immensely concentrated. Mediterranean herbs influence and positively. The tannins provide structure and infuse with the super-concentrated fruit. The sweet spice is a dreamlike addition. Simplistically, imagine a bowl of confit fruit – blueberry, mulberry, plum and blackberry infused with star anise, cinnamon stick, clove, lavender, fresh vanilla, zest from blood orange and a soupçon of soy. Add quality, fine-grained tannins and fantastically crisp acidity and you’re left with a testament to the greatness of Australian winemaking.”

Dan Standish “From Krondorf, where Shiraz ‘tends to be very aggressively tannic’. Consequently, Dan asked the Hongell family to plant a single row of Viognier alongside the Shiraz. Handpicked together and co-fermented, he says ‘it not only adds heady aromatics to the mix, but also softens the otherwise firm tannins.”

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Standish Wines

Stylistically Dan's wines are as rich and profound as you would expect from Barossa Valley old vines, but they have a satin texture and dreamy perfume that sets them far apart from his contemporaries

Simply put, Dan Standish produces the best Shiraz to come out of the Barossa, hence our excitement to be Dan’s UK importer. A 6th generation Barossan, Dan Standish established his eponymous winery in 1999 whilst still working as winemaker at Torbreck Vintners. His endeavour initially began around an ancient parcel of Shiraz owned and farmed by his father... All batches of fruit are fermented and matured individually then follow a strict selection in the winery that can see as much as 80% of the original blend discarded and sold off in bulk. As with the finest producers in Europe only the finest material is sold under the Standish Wine Company label.

Dan is credited as being one of the most experienced winemakers in Barossa, not only for his incredible work at the great Torbreck winery but also working with his friend Jaysen Collins of JC’s Own, on their joint project Massena. He has also spent time honing his talents working vintages in both the Napa and Sonoma Valleys in California and Rioja in Spain, but his real passion developed through the experience gained whilst working in France’s Rhône Valley. The time in Rhône working with Shiraz, which Dan is almost unrivalled in his expertise with, and the techniques he learned there led to the creation of The Relic in which Dan co-ferments a small quantity of Viognier with Shiraz to create a wine that stands up to the very best in the northern Rhône.

Stylistically ... Read moreDan's wines are as rich and profound as you would expect from Barossa Valley old vines, but they have a satin texture and dreamy perfume that sets them far apart from his contemporaries. Here, dark fruits are encased in cocoa and earthy richness but with gentle spice, soil tone, asphalt and a stony minerality that gives the wines a beautiful dimension. These are very special Australian wines.

The Standish 2016 wines cemented Dan’s reputation as one of Barossa’s greatest winemakers even further when several of his wines including The Relic and The Standish were awarded a huge 99 points by Robert Dan's reputation as one of the emerging greats of Barossa has recently been recognized when his wines were included on the list of The Barossa Super 100 Classification, the first ever regional classification, highlighting some of Barossa's very best and most sought after wines.
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