One of the truly great partnerships in the Barossa is the blending of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. Whatever the proportions and regardless of whether Shiraz or Cabernet is dominant the synergy is unmistakable.
Deep dense red with hints of purple lingering around the meniscus.
Spearmint perfume layered over cassis and red currant and summer berries. Lifted vanilla oak blends back and is filled out with the complexity of the spicy French giving an beautifully balanced nose.
The initial richness of the fully raspberry characters are poised against the spearmint menthol over finely balanced against firm oak and fruit Tannins. Good acid against the fruit sweetness, cleanses the mouth for a beautifully balanced palate The middle palate is full of the of the big berry hit of Cabernet supported by the leathery richness of Shiraz. The long palate finishes with the deep bass complexity brought out by extended lees contact.
Alex, eight years old and my youngest has always been a study in contrasts. From his earliest days of childhood, you were never quite sure what the day was going to bring. His temperament is the open sea - calm and peaceful one minute then storm tossed and irresistible the next. At his core is a nonnegotiable moral code that brooks no compromise and definitely leads to our heads banging together at times. Luckily this is tempered by his rich sense of humour, quick witted manner and keen insight. He is in equal measures, generous hearted and loving yet still has moments of such breath-taking selfishness that you'd happily throttle him for a buck. But kids eh. What are you going to do except love them? But I have to admit that his mercurial nature - thankfully - is slowly being tempered by reality. Our peace negotiations based on his transgressions are no longer a combination of common assault, attempted patricide and time in the hole. Happily, it is now a much more dignified affair where for me at least nursing my meat and two veg with a bag of frozen peas is a thing of the past. One day I hope that my kids may want to follow me into the world of wine I guess anyone in my position would probably feel the same. If Alex comes on board at some time in the future I know for sure - based on history - that it will NEVER be dull!
The 2008 Cellar Release Alexander's Reward is a full-throated celebration of the iconic Australian Blend of Cabernet and Shiraz. This blend is unashamedly Big - Big Fruit, Big Oak and Massive Flavour. The 2008 vintage started perfectly giving rise to some of the best fruit I'd seen to date. Then, about half way through, all hell broke loose when it got hot - DAMN HOT!!! Perhaps this is cosmic irony, but I'd have to say it's not unlike a day with Alex actually. Baume's shot up as the heat basically started to air dry the fruit on the vines. In Italy they do this deliberately producing the amazing 'Amarone' Style wines from partially dried fruit - but for us it was an unavoidable reality we just had to take in our stride. Adversity can either break you or if you dig deep can lift you beyond even your own expectations. As the conditions reached 'extreme', vintage became a blur of picking - chilling - plunging - repeat. We filled anything we could get our hands on to make space for grapes. As the race to redemption entered the home straight lack of sleep fought with necessity but in the end, it was all done. I can still feel the relief as we pressed the last parcel, filled the last barrel and cracked just one last beer. Yep, I was pretty damn happy it was over but even happier with the result. The truth of Terroir is not just the soil and the vines but the vintage and the maker as well. Every one of the 384 bottles of the 2008 Cellar Release Alexanders Reward proudly displays the 25 plus days on skins, intense hand crafting and 40 months in oak. The 75% Cabernet and 25% Shiraz is a match made in MY heaven and of course Team david Franz have as always finished the bottle with the hand printed love we would never let it leave home without.