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Two Hands Brave Faces Shiraz Grenache 2008

Rhone Red Blends from Barossa Valley, Barossa, Australia
  • WS91
15.3% ABV
  • JH94
  • WS91
  • JH90
  • RP90
  • JH89
  • RP89
  • RP94
  • WS90
  • JH90
  • RP92
  • WS90
  • RP92
  • RP90
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15.3% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Deep black in color with a slight red hue. Fireworks on the bouquet with rhubarb, Asian spices, intense, fresh cut flower, warm oil and roasted meats, this is extremely 'animal' on the nose. The palate is concentrated and powerful with a lovely open texture of sweet and rounded fruits, you can see the transparency of all three varietals at play here and it makes the wine interesting and different, as they all end on a seamless note. The tannins of the Mataro kick in on the mid palate and pulls the Grenache and Shiraz through on a long ride to a sweet and rounded tannin that is clean, dry and peppery. A contrasting style to the original Brave Faces, which was Shiraz/Grenache, the 2008 seems to show a little more interest and complexity.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 91
Wine Spectator
A lively mouthful of toasty, coffee-accented cherry and blackberry flavors, remaining silky and expressive through the long finish. Grenache, Shiraz and Mataro. Drink now through 2014. 1,250 cases made.
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Two Hands

Two Hands Wines

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Two Hands Wines, Barossa Valley, Barossa, Australia
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Two Hands Wines was founded in 1999 by Michael Twelftree and Richard Mintz. Their aim was, and still is, to produce the best possible wines from prized Shiraz growng regions throughout Australia. "Quality without compromise" is a core value that drives all decisions from fruit and oak selection to packaging and promotion. Winemaker Matt Wenk has been with Two Hands since 2002 and, together with Michael Twelftree, oversees every aspect of the winemaking process. Their flagship Shiraz, Ares, represents the very best parcels in each vintage and is sselected through an intense barrel classification process. This blend of Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale Shiraz displays the incredible depth of flavor and balance that are hallmarks of this wine.

Barossa Valley

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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.

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.

Most of Australia’s largest wine producers are based here and Shiraz plantings date back as far as 1860. Many of them are dry farmed and bush trained, still offering less than one ton per acre of inky, purple juice.

Rhône Blends

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, red Rhône blends originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley. Grenache, supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre typically form the base of the blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. With some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in Priorat, Washington, Australia and California.

In the Glass

The taste profile of a Rhône blend will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit and a plush texture. Syrah supplies dark fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy and earthy notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume and earthy flavor as well as structure and a healthy dose of color. New World examples tend to be fruit-forward in style, while those from the Old World will often have more earth, structure and herbal components on top of ripe red and blue fruit.

Perfect Pairings

Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. These can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes, playing equally well with beef, pork, lamb or game. Braised beef cheeks, grilled steak or sausages, roasted pork and squab are all fine pairings.

Sommelier Secret

Some regions like to put their own local spin on the red Rhône blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.

SOU308225_2008 Item# 110799