NED GOODWIN MW ~ JAMES SUCKLING
LATEST RELEASES REVIEWED
Alkina Grenache Shiraz Mataro Barossa Valley Kin by Alkina Field Red 2022 | 93 Points
56% grenache, 35% shiraz and a dollop of mataro for some ferruginous grunt. A savory nose, alluding to smoked meats and wilderness. Think thyme, rosemary and lavender, shoved into a satchel and tipped into a beef daube. A full-weighted wine defined by a sheath of immaculate tannins, chamois of feel, gently reductive, but thoroughly glorious, corralling the dark fruits, while channelling the charge and length. This reminds me of the wines of Chateauneuf's Charvin, before global warming. Great gear! Drink or hold.
Alkina Grenache ‘Ex Libris’ Polygon No. 22 2022 | 95 Points
An experimental cuvee of just 150 bottles. Sourced from a magical confluence of limestone and schist, underlying a mere 200 vines. Seldom seen! Misleadingly voluptuous, with notes of blood plum, blue fruits, lilac, anise, white pepper, thyme and rose petal, corralled by a ferrous mineral torque that ultimately dictates a sense of compression. The length is phenomenal; the energy, contagious. Tactile and nervous. Weightlessness and power, despite the medium-bodied reality. Brilliant wine! Drink or hold.
Alkina Grenache Barossa Valley Kin 2022 | 93 Points
Another fine vintage in these parts, slightly cooler than than the majestic 21. A lifted nose, thrumming with fecund strawberry, blood plum and bergamot. A danker chorus of campfire, dried thyme and lavender, dragged across a scale of nebbiolo-like tannins, gritty and precise, indelibly marked by schist. This gently mid-weighted, young vine expression is a brilliant example of contemporary Aussie grenache, by far the most exciting variety in the country of recent times. Quaffable. Drink or hold.
Alkina Grenache Barossa Valley Polygon No. 3 2020 | 97 Points
A Polygon is a stringently defined plot, based on soil mapping and geology. Here, the magical mesh of limestone and schist, dating from the 1950's. Among the finest iterations of straight grenache in the world. Irrefutably. Tastes akin to top-drawer Burgundy, much like Rayas, with a similar Mediterranean jive of sweet fruit. Mid-weighted of touch, with a veil of chiffon tannins enveloping clove, white pepper, Seville orange, tamarind and kirsch. Ineffable really, so good is it. The feeling, ethereal, nervous and jittery; graceful and optimistic, such is the beauty on show. This could easily be nudged one more point upwards. Drink or hold.
Alkina Grenache Barossa Valley Polygon No. 5 2020 | 96 Points
This polygon, or micro-plot, is defined by fractured schist and clay. Planted in the mid 1950's. Richer and more lateral than the Polygon 3 sibling, yet still mid-weighted of feel with impressive glide and levity. Molten raspberry bon bon, dried thyme, lavender, anise and smear of black olive tapenade across the lustrous, somewhat sooty finish. The end is long and bolshy, driven by the force of explosive fruit, rather than the tannic compression, mineral-coaxed detail and scintillating freshness of the 3. A brilliant wine, all the same. Drink or hold.