I do this blog for fun, the wines here are some of the very few I can be bothered to write up. The cream has risen.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Marius 2012 Harvest

I left home at 6am and it was already very warm. The forecast four days earlier said it was going to be around 30C, but by the day before harvest that had jumped to 39C. Since Marius wines are hand picked, and are picked by his customers, then picking at night or rescheduling at such late notice can't be done so easily. The best laid plans of winemakers are often thwarted by the weather.

Early in the day the vines provided decent shade

At this point taller vines would have been welcome

We took it in turns to be on the sunny side, but soft Steve (not in photo) opted to go shadey only later and pick through the vines
Someone had that sunscreen that smells strongly of coconuts, luckily we wore gloves else the wine may have ended up with a more tropical bouquet.

Only one person dropped out of the harvest team, which says we are all dedicated and will suffer a lot to get a free tasting of several Marius vintages. A great crew to pick with.


Cut the red wire, not the green one!

I have to admit I might have trimmed a few more leaves than I really needed to. Roger's very neat vines are pretty easy to pick from, but sometimes working out just where the top of that bunch is can be tricky.

Is that Edward just there?
When picking opposite someone, which is fairly often, you need to be aware of Mr. Scissorhands, who may also be wondering where the red wire really is.

Roger has small ones, and he likes em that way

The Marius vines are dry grown, and the foliage is kept a lot thinner than many vines you'll see through the Vale. This results in smaller berries, which is desirable as most of the flavour is near the skins and small berries means a better skin to juice ratio. The penalty for Roger is low yields every year, but better wines because of it.

This year however yields were extra low, with many Shiraz vineyards across the Vale down 40-50%. That was in part due to the weird weather ie. high summer rainfall in 2011, where the vines did not set themselves up for the following season properly.

A few rows are extra low yielding with even smaller berrier and bunches because....

The low yielding vines with the water stealing pines in the background

The workers enjoying the fruits of previous years labours

This is Roger not telling us what's in the 2008 End Play but dropping some hints, I'm now 66% certain I know what it is

The rewards, not in drinking order, and possibly a few bottles are missing, none in my esky I promise. The 2010s are not released, this was an early preview for a lucky few, and keep in mind review samples for some of the professional reviewers are sent in somewhat early as you never know how many months they'll take to get around to reviewing them.

Apparently the Symposium does not sell as quite as well as the straight Shirazes, but the 2006 is starting to hit it's straps now and is Oustanding drinking, the wine of the day for many of us there. There will not be a 2011 or 2012 Symposium for a few reasons, but I strongly recommend you do yourself a favour and try the 2010 and the Matarius when released.

Love this
Getting even better with age

May become my new favourite
Great character
Many years left

Some of us are lucky



  1. "review samples for some of the professional reviewers are sent in somewhat early as you never know how many months they'll take to get around to reviewing them."
    ~ Love it!

    I wish I could get hold of a bottle of that 2010 Matarius...have a slight soft spot for good Mataro. Great read. Cheers

    1. Yep Stu, it was particularly the Matarius I was thinking of when I said that. When I first tried it at 1yo it was very tannic and I didn't think it would make a great single variety wine, and that's despite liking Mataro as a variety, but it has changed hugely in the following year and will continue to develop and it will be absolutely brilliant. ie. it will not be the same wine as reviewed 2 months ago as it will be when Roger decides it's actually ready for release, but reviews need to come before release...

  2. I was fortunate to meet Roger last year. I had no idea who he was, and we spent the evening chatting about much, laughing and drinking some delightful wines. Somewhere during the evening, we formally introduced ourselves, and I laughed when I realised he was the man behind Marius, which I had tried only a few months earlier. It's a wonderful world in the wine game, sometimes. That moment was priceless:) This is a great article. Thanks for posting:)