Chapoutier and Laughton Cluster M45 Shiraz 2010
Syrah/Shiraz from Victoria, Australia
The 2010 Cluster M45 is a beautifully structured Shiraz, displaying aromas of black currants, plums, blackberries, char, and earth. The finish is elegant and long with fine-grained tannins and bright acidity that will lend to further aging.
The Wine Advocate - "These Chapoutier wines are sometimes reviewed by my colleagues David Schildknect in his Languedoc-Roussillon report and Lisa Perrotti-Brown in her reviews of Australian wines, so I will just list the wines, my score, and the region from which they emerge. They are of very high quality and deserve readers’ attention. Hopefully my prose has convinced more than a handful of readers to try these remarkable wines from one of the most fascinating and compelling personalities in the entire wine world, and one dedicated to the highest quality."
Wine Spectator - "Taut, focused and vivid, with cinnamon-accented cherry and licorice flavors, impressively refined and harmonious through the finish. This tightly wound version needs cellaring to open up. Drink now through 2020."
International Wine Cellar - "Inky purple. A heady bouquet displays scents of candied dark berries, cherry-vanilla and incense, along with a smoky topnote. Lush and creamy in texture, offering palate-staining blackberry and cherry compote flavors and a hint of olive. Soft tannins build on the clinging finish, which leaves notes of blue fruits and licorice behind."
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Chapoutier and Laughton Winery
A chance meeting in the mid-nineties sealed a certain fate for two great winemaking families of modern times – the Laughtons of Heathcote, Victoria, and the Chapoutiers of the Rhone Valley, France. Ron Laughton and Michel Chapoutier, both passionate winemakers with a belief in biodynamic farming and its potential to express pure terroir, found they shared a common vision: to create a pair of wines from far-reaching corners of the globe that would each express their distinct origins, yet remain allied through the philosophy of their creation. The Agly Brothers, as they have named themselves, Côtes du Roussillon (Carignan blend from 100 year old vines) and Cambrien Shiraz represent the labors of the Laughton and Chapoutier families in this endeavor.
This dynamic partnership also yielded a Shiraz vineyard in Central Victoria’s Heathcote region, the home of Jasper Hill. Planted in the spring of 1998, this tiny vineyard was established on virgin red Cambrian soils and planted with both Australian Shiraz clones, selected by Ron, and French Syrah clones, imported by Michel from cuttings off his famous Hermitage vineyard. The label depicts ‘La Pleiade’ (The Pleiades, Seven Sisters), a small, wispy star cluster in the constellation of Taurus that can be viewed by the naked eye from both partners’ home vineyards in Tain l’Hermitage and Heathcote. Revered in legends by ancient cultures of most civilisations, including the Gauls and Aboriginal Australians, the Greek mythology of the Pleiades is linked to the seven beautiful daughters of Atlas and Pleione and their pursuit by Orion. View all Chapoutier and Laughton Wines
From stickies to Pinot Noir, Victoria is varied in its wines. The southernmost state of Australia, Victoria is third in wine production, after South Australia and New South Wales. The state is home to the cool-climate Yarra Valley, Yarra Valley, a producer of quality Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, as well the warmer regions of Rutherglen & Glenrowan. These two areas are hot and dusty and famous for their sweet, fortified stickies.
Notable FactsLots of coastline gives Victoria a cool climate, appropriate for growing grapes like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Many new regions are discovering their growing potential – especially with these grapes. Inland gets warmer, and some of the best fortified wines are made here,as well as some good Shiraz. Victoria also makes the most Sparking Shiraz.
About AustraliaLike the United States, which is about the same size, Australia's winemaking regions are huddled into one or two pockets of the country. The state of South Australia, which produces about 60% of the country's wine, also has the most wineries and sub-regions, including McLaren Vale, Clare Valley, Coonawarra and Barossa Valley. New South Wales is home to the Hunter Valley, while the smaller, southern state of Victoria is best known for theYarra Valley. Head way west to the very large state of Western Australia and you'll find the tiny region of Margaret River at the southern tip.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.