Two Hands The Bull and The Bear Shiraz Cabernet 2004
"Lively, aromatic style has juicy cherry and pomegranate flavors at the core, persisting nicely on the finish, with licorice and toast notes. Best, though, is its transparency. A deeply dark Shiraz-based red, with a real sense of clarity. Drink now through 2014." 91 Points
"A blend of 65% Shiraz and 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2004 The Bull and the Bear possesses a dense ruby/purple color, tremendous flavor intensity, and abundant creme de cassis notes intermixed with notions of cedar, licorice, blackberries, and currants. The fabulous aromatics are followed by a wine with wonderful purity, richness, and a seamless integration of acidity, tannin, alcohol, and wood. Drink this beauty over the next 7-8 years." 93 Points
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.
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 work diligently to ensure grapes reach the perfect levels of phenolic ripeness.
The intense heat is ideal for plush, bold reds, particularly Shiraz on its own or Rhône Blends featuring Shiraz, Grenache, and Mourvèdre. Often Shiraz and Cabernet partner up for plump and powerful reds. While much less prevalent, light-skinned varieties such as Riesling, Viognier or Semillon produce vibrant Barossa Valley whites.
Most of Australia’s largest wine producers are based here and Shiraz plantings date back as far as the 1850s or before. Many of them are dry farmed and bush trained, still offering less than one ton per acre of inky, intense, purple juice.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.