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Fetish The Watcher Shiraz 2006
At Fetish Wines, we value this level of attention to every step of the winemaking process, from the soil to the bottle. We do not want to manipulate wine, but to craft it by the subtle direction that can only be achieved through an intimate relationship with the land.
For this wine, Rolf Binder is The Watcher
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Shortly after this initial release a new project came together, this time partnering with Wayne Dutschke to produce the "Field of Dreams" Barossa Moscato. This wine brought a new, and very different, facet of Australian winemaking into the Fetish portfolio. The distinctive blue bottle and colorful label contributed to the Fetish Wines theme of being consistently different.
2007 saw the second release of "The Watcher" Shiraz, which received an even greater reception in the USA marketplace than its initial release, and the introduction of "Playmates." An additional wine made for Fetish by Rolf Binder, "Playmates" is a Barossa Valley blend of Shiraz, Grenache, and Mataro with eye-catching black-and-white artwork. The second release of "Field of Dreams" Moscato will be available before the end of the year.
Historically and presently the most important wine-producing region of Australia, the Barossa Valley is set in South Australia, where more than half of the country’s wine is made. Because the climate is very hot and dry, vineyard managers must be careful so that grapes do not become overripe. Some of the oldest vines in Australia can be found here—in the cooler, wetter Eden Valley sub-region, the Hill of Grace vineyard is home to 140+ year old Shiraz vines.
The intense heat is ideal for plush, bold reds, particularly Rhône blends featuring Shiraz, Grenache, and Mataro (Mourvèdre). White grapes can produce crisp, fresh wines from Riesling, Chardonnay, and Semillon if they are planted at higher altitudes where they may benefit from cool breezes, particularly in the Eden Valley.
Marked by unmistakable aromatics, a savory palate, and an elegant texture, Syrah is capable of producing fascinatingly complex and long-lived wines with a stunning purple hue. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah’s best examples are found in Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie. It is also an important component of the GSM blends of the Southern Rhône and beyond, alongside Grenache and Mourvèdre. Both varietal Syrah and GSM blends are common in Australia and California and are gaining popularity in Washington State. In Australia, Syrah is known by the synonym Shiraz, which tends to indicate a bolder, fruit-driven style of wine, and is occasionally blended with Cabernet Sauvignon for added depth and structure.
In the Glass
At its best, Syrah shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper, smoke, and even bacon fat. Many examples from California aim to recreate this savory style, while others focus more on concentrated fruit flavors. In Australia, under the name Shiraz, it shines as that country’s unofficial signature red grape, producing deep, dark, intense, and often jammy reds.
Cool-climate Syrah, with its peppery spices, is a natural match with flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb dishes, where the spice is more about flavor than heat. With Australian Shiraz, grown in warmer regions, heavy meat dishes with abundant protein and fat are a necessity to match the intensity of the wine.
Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” this synonym for Syrah has been adopted by winemakers throughout the world. If the label says “Shiraz,” you can typically expect a plush, fruity, and potent wine made in the Australian style. New World "Syrah" will generally more closely resemble the French style.