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2020 Spice Garden Magnum

2020 Spice Garden Magnum

This is the first vintage of Spice Garden – a wine that encapsulates the beauty and detail of the special Shiraz block next to the Old Quarter. On Pedro Parra’s 2nd visit we mapped this block, finding limestone, schist and clay areas, and immediately understood its potential. This is a refined, elegant Shiraz with spice and mineral complexity, nervous tension and cool fruit character.

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Estate grown and made

Certified organic and biodynamic fruit

100% Shiraz

44 cases and 30 magnums produced

13.2% alcohol

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Tasting Notes
This is an angular, intense and uncompromising wine. When blending from the three polygons that make up the Spice Garden we found amazing mineral complexity in Polygon 10 (limestone) and Polygon 11 (schist) and for us, a combination of these two components signified what we saw as the beauty of this block. It's tight and coiled now, but with air it soars out of the glass revealing cool fruit character, an impression of dense minerality, structured tannin, nervy tension and great length.
Vineyard Notes
A fascinating exercise in understanding the different geologies of the block. The final blend was made up of 90% Polygon 10 (vines planted on limestone) and 10% Polygon 11 (next door and planted on schist). We excluded Polygon 14 (clay because of its over-powering nature that obscured the detail of P10 and P11. NASAA certified organic and biodynamic.

"Love the name Spice Garden for a vineyard; evocative. From the organic farmed estate of Alkina. Slurpy, rich, cuddly shiraz. Scents of vanilla-raspberry coulis, choc-cherry, cinnamon spice, sarsaparilla. Flavours are led with squishy ripe blackberries, some currant and raisin in the mix, sweet spice and a bit of earthy graphite character. Flows well, a layer of slow moving tannin brings in a gummy pucker. Feels pretty serious, but drinks well in youth. Balanced."

93 points, Mike Bennie,

"For the first vintage of Alkina’s Spice Garden Shiraz fruit has been chosen from blocks planted on a blend of limestone and schist based soils. The idea is to make quite a different expression of the Barossa, in a more fine and detailed style. While the wine still shows a deeply flavoured Barossa heart there is also plenty of minerality and spice adding interest. It opens as you would expect with a deep ruby colour followed by waves of berry compote and fruit pastille lifted by aromatic white pepper. There is then good generosity of fruit on the palate with slightly angular acidity which leaves the finish a little thin. It will probably fill out in time so best to leave this a few years. There is real potential here and it will be fascinating to see where this wine goes in better vintages."

92 points, Angus Hughson, Wine Pilot

"Deep crimson. Intense blackberry pastille, cherry stone, marzipan, wax polish aromas. Richly flavoured wine with deep set blackberry, elderberry fruits, fine loose knit textures, sweet cranberry fruits, sweet and sour notes, fine vigorous slinky graphite tannins. Very attractive style, touch of roasted walnut. Very bright and expressive fruit driven style. 100% whole bunch vinification. Matured in a combination of a seasoned 400L barrel and 1700L concrete tulip. Only 504 bottles made. 13.2% alc."

95 points, Andrew Caillard MW, The Vintage Journal

"Very deep red-purple colour, iodine, pepper and assorted spices to sniff, while the palate is full-bodied and firmly gripping with lively acidity too. The wine is powerful and penetrating, firm and tight and long. Lots of mineral aromas and flavours, tight and bunched-up, a touch astringent just now and needs time to relax and unfurl its wares. Sweet fruit submerged in power and structure. (Mostly made in concrete, plus one seasoned puncheon)."

95 points, Huon Hooke, The Real Review

"This 2020 Spice Garden Shiraz, like the other premium Alkina Shirazes will certainly split the crowd. Some will be titallated by its purity and febrile nature. Others will pine for the density and volume that Barossa Shiraz can deliver. It's important to know what you're walking into before you do it. I'm in the former camp. This features succulent, chewy fruit grown on limestone (90% of the blend) and schist (10% of the blend); the neighboring clay-based Polygon was excluded as it was thought to overpower the detail in Polygons 10 and 11. This is exceptional. It is supple, pliable and exciting, with layers of exotic spice, layers of fat, clove, star anise, red licorice and mulberry. Balanced. It's good for the Barossa, this wine. It shows the great thing about the Barossa that made it famous: concentration. But it does so in an elegant, medium-bodied way. The splay of from Pinot-esque tannin through the finish is the highlight. 44 cases made."

95 points, Erin Larkin, The Wine Advocate

“A cool and daringly dry style of shiraz with discreet red fruit plus savory and tobacco leaf aromas. Serious tannins on the compact and slightly lean palate. This needs some more time in bottle to fully harmonize all this. Drinkable now, but best from 2024.”

92 points, James Suckling,