2012 Jamsheed Beechworth Syrah

jamsheed beechworth syrahI’m just going to come straight out and say it. This is the best wine Gary Mills has made under the Jamsheed label to date. And there have been plenty of good’uns. It’s from the Warner vineyard in Beechworth (yes, the one Rick Kinzbrunner of Giaconda fame accesses as well). I don’t have the tech specs but the incorporation of whole bunches is obvious, oak is a bit player and I think it’s pretty safe to say that indigenous yeast was used in the ferments. I’d also make a friendly wager on a small proportion of Roussanne playing a part but who knows? If it is there it isn’t dominant so please don’t let my guess put you off. There’s every chance I’m wrong anyway.

Glycerol mouthfeel, grape-skin and stem tannin, granite minerality and embedded natural acidity make this a textural tour de force. Dark cherries, salami, smoke, pan juices, star anise and pepper are some of the elements generating a world of complexity. It’s enough to make the plot from Inception seem straightforward. Despite its variegated persona there’s not one component that jars or falls short of making complete sense. 94+

Region: Beechworth
Alcohol: 13.2%
Closure: Diam
Price: $48
Tasted: August 2013


This entry was posted in Beechworth, Shiraz, Syrah and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to 2012 Jamsheed Beechworth Syrah

  1. Colin r says:

    Hello Jeremy,
    Q.1 Is there any difference on a persons palate between skin tannin and stem tannin ? From your comments there appears that there is.
    Q.2 How is the glycerol interpreted on the palate ?


  2. Hi Colin –

    Q.1 Yes, there’s certainly a difference between grape-skin tannin and stem tannin (and oak tannin) and I believe it’s quite discernible on the palate. Having said that our ability to differentiate between all the different sources of tannin is imperfect. Especially as more than one source is usually involved. When I use the terms I am referring to a sensory evaluation that I make. While that evaluation may have its origins in concrete techniques it remains sensory and therefore ultimately imprecise.

    Q.2 Glycerol in terms of mouthfeel/texture is a tough one. Once again it is, for me, a sensory evaluation. Some relate it to alcohol, others I speak to believe residual sugar plays a role. I’d argue that the presence of acidity and tannin is going to alter our sensory experience of it as well. It’s probably best, at least when you read the term in my notes, to view it as a subjective sensory experience – perhaps think of it in more a metaphorical than literal sense. It’s a word I use to attempt to convey a texture that I experience. I’m not sure there’s enough scientific research out there to attribute any more value to it than that.


  3. GP says:

    Great review… find myself nodding. This was my favourite of the 2012 Syrahs at an in-store recently. I asked about Viognier (I think I perceived it in this wine) and the winemaker was pretty emphatic that good Syrah didn’t need it and all the wines are 100% Syrah.


  4. Thanks GP. I’d never really thought of Gary as a ‘white grape in Shiraz’ person so I was a little surprised at even having the thought, but it did pop into my original note. I’ll check with him and get it all verified. Terrific wine either way. Glad you felt the same way about it.


  5. Verified 100% Roussanne free. No white grape influence, all Syrah. Gary Mills thought it was aromatic enough…and I’m not going to argue.

  6. david garner says:

    Now recently bought a dozenmixed Jamsheed based on this review. Loved the rose andlike the pepe pinot. I opened the Yarra Syrah and feel I didn’t enjoy it like the 2010. I think it’s too early. So I am wondering if by having a Beechworth I am opening to early? Thoughts?

  7. David – Is that the 2012 La Syrah or the 2012 Seville Syrah (about $50 from memory). If it’s the La Syrah then I think it’s drinking pretty well right now…which isn’t to say more time won’t help it or that you may not enjoy it with more age. Unfortunately I haven’t tasted the Seville so I’m not much help there.

    As for the 2012 Beechworth Syrah its best years are certainly in front of it. I like it now but more time in the bottle will certainly help. Having said that I’m inclined to say give it a go now with food. It’s currently pouring at several restaurants and I haven’t heard of any complaints. It’s a tough one. These sort of wines aren’t inexpensive and you want to get the most out of them. I’m confident the Beechworth will age well so if you decide to go safety first, so long as you have good storage conditions, then there’s certainly no rush. The whole bunch, slightly vegetative/ stemmy notes that may have put you off the Syrah will settle into the wine with time – I say that based on past experience with Jamsheed wines. Apologies for not providing a definitive answer but I hope that helps a little.


  8. David says:

    Yep, thanks Jeremy. It was the Seville. I bought a couple of each so my thinking was one now and one in the cellar.

    I love the whole bunch inclusion in the Syrahs – it adds so much interest.

    • Cheers David. Gary Mills tells me the Seville is the new Silvan (if you’ve tried that wine – which it seems you have). It kind of makes sense given what you say. The Silvan can be a daunting wine in its youth and I’ve found 2012 to produce Yarra Reds that are slightly less masculine with a little less upfront fruit intensity. My money would be on it working itself out with time…although I’ll pester Gary for a bottle once he’s back in Australia.

      If the Seville is anything like the Silvan then I suspect you’ll find the 2012 Beechworth Syrah a lot more inviting as a young wine. Would love to hear what you think if you crack one.

  9. Great review and on behalf of Warner Vineyard, we are glad you enjoyed the wines.

  10. David Garner says:

    Jeremy, well over the January break I did manage to open on of my Beechworth 2012 and what a stunning wine. The Warner Vineyard is a special special place. This wine speaks of the earth it grows in – sublime florals and a real underlying minerality. A tannin structure to die for and indescribable length. In the top 5 Australian Shiraz that I have ever tried.
    I also revisited a bottle of 2012 Seville and what a difference 6 months has made. It has all come together. It wasnt the whole bunch that put me off in the first bottle last year it was just so disjointed. This is now looking beautiful – earthy, floral and beautiful plum fruits. Powdery tannins offer a hint to a very good life ahead. One tucked safely in the cellar. I also popped a bottle of the 2012 Garden Gully away for a number of years. Based on all reports and my experience with that vineyard- intense fruit that likes a lay down to show balance. Have ypu tried this yet mate?

  11. Yep, tasted the 2012 Jamsheed Garden Gully with Gary when he was in Brisbane last year. Very good wine. He’s a talented bugger. Glad you enjoyed this. Such classy gear.

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