The Limestone Coast lies about halfway between Melbourne and Adelaide, and
its agricultural regions have been diligently diversifying their traditional farming
of cereals, pasture seed, vegetables and livestock grazing. As of the 1960’s,
they’ve also embraced the stepped challenges/rewards of grape growing and
winemaking — so much so that they now produce 20% of South Australia’s total.
Spanning 5 family generations, over a 165-year history, the Bryson farming clan
has made a significant contribution to the shift, having invested the last 50 yrs.
in refining the cultivation of premium-grade, red and white wine varieties, on their
own Phylloxera-free rootstock. Clearly, all the vineyard management details matter
to the dedicated trio of Bryson brothers; they’re also at ease with the sentiment
that what ends up in the bottle is ‘serious fun’!
Padthaway is an emerging, less-renowned member of the six sub-regions lying
within the Limestone Coast boundary; directly competing with the established
international profile of neighbouring Coonawarra: rightfully and highly regarded
for the qualities of its benchmark bottlings of Shiraz. The Potawurutj Aborigines
coined Padthaway’s name (‘good water’), referencing the underground aquifer
system and the abundant surface supply. When the forbearers of the Bryson’s
and other Europeans arrived in Padthaway during the 1850’s, the bio-diverse
landscape (ancient seabed) was still extensively covered by shallow freshwater
and so became known as ‘Mosquito Plains’.
Among many desirable attributes at work in this terroir, including sun-drenched
exposures in daytime offset by the cool coastal breezes at night, are the prized
Terra Rosa soils. Often associated with the Mediterranean basin generally, and
Italy in particular, this composition of ancient weathered limestone results from
the residual clay and non-soluble rock becoming oxidized (rusting); yielding the
characteristic reddish colour; imbuing the soil with essential minerals and good
drainage for the vine’s root system. Punctuating 190 hectares on the Bryson
Estate are outcrops and clusters of unusual, bulbous granite rock formations;
providing an evocative namesake and brand graphic for their baseline range of
wines: the Jip Jip Rocks.
This week’s DéClassé featured varietal bottling of Shiraz was finished by blending
batches from the 2013 vintage, after spending a year in a combination of new
and used, American and French oak barrels. With another 15 months in bottle,
it’s ready to go now, though will develop even more balance if left on your storage
rack for several more years. If you like your dry reds on the plush side, with some
youthful fruitiness and acidic vibrancy still at the forefront, then you should rush to
the LCBO’s Vintages section ahead of the anticipated crowd — and buy a bunch!
JIP JIP ROCKS SHIRAZ 2013
VINTAGES – LCBO Product #673897 | 750 mL bottle
Sugar Content Descriptor: XD
Made in: South Australia, Australia
By: Bryson Family
Release Date: Feb 20, 2016
Along with dominant currant and earthy cherry notes, this fulsome red also
incorporates subtle flavours of mocha and clove. Lightly spicy on the nose, the
oak influence is deftly incorporated into the wine’s supple body. Try serving with
marinated flank steak, smoked ham hock, hearty stews or mature cheeses.