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Saturday 18 October 2014

Gibson Wines - The Dirtman

The Good Food and Wine Show hit Brisbane over the weekend of 17-19th October 2014.

It's an event that draws many of Australia's wine and food community: its producers, consumers and characters.

Rob Gibson of Gibson Wines is one such character, he can be seen in the pic to the left, naked and chest deep in one of his beloved vineyards.

Gibbo is "The Dirtman". A twenty plus year career with Penfolds, fifteen of them as Group Viticulturist.  That time at at Penfolds is writ large across Gibbo, in the wines he makes now with son Adam under the Gibson brand, in how they leverage off fruit from across the Barossa region, in the proclivity for being photographed naked in soil pits in vineyards.

I had the pleasure of tasting through a few current releases with Rob and Adam, along with a couple of select museum releases, at a private social event. Notes are largely as recorded on the night.

2012 'The Smithy'
A new wine in the Gibson portfolio, the 'Great Aussie Red' blend marrying Shiraz and Cabernet, in a 66/34 proportion. Of the Shiraz, 44% is Eden Valley fruit. Spends 20m in wood, 60% French and the remainder is American. Initially shows a touch of leaf, before fruit takes control. An attractive perfume oak, vanilla. Medium to full bodied, attractive berry fruit, suggestion of citrus. 90/91

Price: $27
Alcohol: 13.9%
Closure: Screwcap 

2013 'The Dirtman' Shiraz
The wine that bears Rob's adopted name. Large scale production - for Gibson - of around 1500 dozen, a mix of Barossa and Eden Valley fruit. Spends 18 months in American oak (as advised by Adam, contradicts the 24months on the website in case anyone pulls me up on that). Vanilla oak, black fruit, toasty. On the palate it's full, smooth, sheen of oak; black, sweet fruit. Leaves a good length with a hint of choc-chicory bitterness. 91

Price: $30
Alcohol: 14.3%
Closure: Screwcap 

2006 Old Vine Eden Valley Shiraz
Reaching back into the cellar, Adam states: "we wanted to show how the wines can age and develop". - $110 for current release. Starting to develop savoury notes, touch of leather, secondary characters. That said, it's still fresh, primary, pepper and a suggestion licorice; still bears a some acid - time ahead of it; depth black plum, skins; good length, finesse. 92/3

Price: $110
Alcohol: ?
Closure: Cork 

2010 Old Vine Barossa Valley Shiraz
Fruit here comes predominantly around the rivers (Para), some of towards Langmeil, others a 102 year old block around Light Pass. In effect, a composite of the 'Barossa' here.
Dense, chewy, muscular; still balanced - coffee hints with softer fruit components balancing out those darker, deeper notes. S
pice, length, unforced. 94+

Price: $115
Alcohol: ?
Closure: Cork 

Big note of thanks to Gibbo and Adam for their time, the wines and good company. Heartfelt thanks to host David and also to "The Dogman" for "rocking the pans" - I reckon the chicken was cooked after all.

Tasted on: Friday 17th October, a Leaf day
Source: Private Tasting

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