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.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Turkey Flat Butchers Block 2012

A couple of summers ago I became a serious fan of the Rhone blend, typically Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvedre. A bit lighter weight than most Shiraz and they often drink well with a slight chill, which is nice for the warmer days. The 2010 of this was pretty damned good and I've been looking forward to the 2012.

The nose is somewhat Grenache red fruit dominant, but that's often the nature of Grenache isn't it? Some pencil shavings, allspice and a dollop of Mulberry jam.

Lovely fine powdery tannin backbone and pretty good acidity, if slightly tart.

The thing is though, the hallmark of a good GSM, or in this case SGM, is that it should be seamless with no one variety being too obvious. Unfortunately, unlike the 2010, the 2012 is unbalanced, with the Grenache completely dominating the Shiraz despite the latter being the bulk of this wine, and the Mataro is hiding away in the corner scared of the guy with the intense red eyes.

It's a well made wine, and if you're a Grenache fan perhaps this is your cup of tea.

Rating: Agreeable (remember, I'm a hard marker).

For fans of GSMs I'd highly recommend the 2012 Teusner Avatar as a great example of what a perfect blend of the three can be.


  1. Interested in your thoughts.

    I had this wine recently and thought the Shiraz aspects were more dominant than previously. Typically Turkey Flat house style is a little more restrained than other Barossa producers. I was a big fan of the 2012 and thought it was sensational value. But then again I usually find Grenache rocks my socks.

  2. I have been trying this blend in various combinations for quite a few years and very hard to find a really good one, of course as you say the caveat being my palate. Haven't tried this vintage of the TF or the 2010 ... the 2005 was a good effort, drinking well about 3 years ago, very unimpressed with the 2008 which carried some warmth and a slight soupy/oily character. Seems it's a little difficult to get this blend right in Aus and I suspect it's due to the grenache. Perhaps the best example I have tried in recent years is the 2010 Cradle of Hills but their 2011 'wet cooler year' version is much lighter and really grenache dominant, hoping for good things from the 2012 ... avatar is excellent!

    Just checked my database ... the only 'rhone blends' I have in my cellar ATM are the 2010 Cradle of Hills, 2012 Avatar (and the 2008 TF which I have been giving away to guests) ... guess that speaks about my palate, but there are quite a few really good Shiraz/Mourvedre blends around, even if some of them have a, undeclared, tinge (7%) grenache in them.

  3. Yup Jason, if you like your Grenache you'd probably love this. It's somewhat more in the mold of the Teusner Joshua though with more body, and FWIW I rated that Agreeable too.

    Peter I think you're spot on with Grenache being the biggest variable in these blends. The Splash and Merge master class with Paul from Cradle of Hills highlighted to me that even 5% Grenache can make a big change to the wine.

    I suspect Grenache harvest is one the hardest to time right. I've been told by a 70yo Barossa winemaker that most Grenache in his opinion is often picked too early, but I've also been told by another winemaker that he thinks it's bad to pick it too late.

    I've only had a very few Rhone wines (from France), but what strikes me with those that I've had, is just how harmonious the blend can be. I feel we should learn from that.