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Details for Jamsheed, Le Blanc Plonk


CountryAustralia
Region
AppellationUpper Goulburn and Grampians
Grape
Year2014
Producer
ABV13%


Victoria

Australia’s smallest and coolest state on the mainland is a goldmine of wine styles and flavours. It has no fewer than 21 winemaking regions, comprising both historic areas and relatively recent ones. Together they make Victoria a very diverse winemaking location; from the phylloxera-surviving vines in the hot Rutherglen to the relatively cool Yarra Valley.

The Yarra Valley is something of the spiritual winemaking heart of Victoria, and is home to some of Victoria’s best known names. Here the upper slopes are cool, rainfall is reasonably high and soils vary enormously. Some of Australia’s best Pinot Noir can be found here, though experimentation with varieties is rife.

Most of North East Victoria is undeniably hot and has long been known for its fortified wines: the famous stickies produced around Rutherglen. Recently vineyards have been planted at higher altitudes in the relatively new regions of King Valley, Alpine Valleys and Beechworth, which have developed reputations for fizz, Chardonnay and Italian varieties. The Upper Goulburn is another upland area in the foothills of the Australian Alps, and has produced exciting Rieslings.

Over in Western Victoria, the Grampians is a region that’s thick with lime soil vineyards. It's a stronghold of sparkling winemakers - much of Australia's weird and wonderful sparkling Shiraz comes from here - but fine still Shiraz and Riesling are also produced, as they are in nearby, but cooler, Henty.

Further inland, in Central Victoria, Bendigo and Heathcote are making fine and pure red wines, often from Shiraz.

One of the most exciting regions in recent years has been the Mornington Peninsula which, as the name suggests, experiences a maritime climate. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay excel here.


Jamsheed

Jamsheed, based in the Yarra Valley in cool-climate Victoria, is the vehicle for wildman winemaker Gary Mills. Born in Western Australia, Mills gained a degree in literature before moving to Japan to study and work as an English teacher. Upon returning to Australia he had an epiphany during a brief stint as a Japanese-speaking tour guide in Queensland, and began work in the vineyards of Margaret River.
 
A five week vintage posting at Ridge Vineyards in California turned into a two year full time position under the tutelage of legendary winemaker Paul Draper, followed by stints in Oregon and in various regions within Australia. The Jamsheed label began in 2003 with a focus on single vineyard Syrahs and aromatic whites from unique sites in Victoria.
 
Mills' non-interventionist, almost pre-industrial style features long macerations, wild yeast fermentation, a high proportion of whole bunches, no additions except for a little sulphur dioxide and no fining or filtration. The use of oak is restricted to used and larger format barrels.
 
Jamsheed is best known for pure, detailed Syrahs, made very much in the northern Rhone style of Cornas and Cote Rotie rather than the full and rich Barossa Shiraz style more typical of Australia. But Mills also produces exceptional single-vineyard Roussanne and Riesling, and his creativity is given full rein in the quirky, lower-priced Harem range which features a wide variety of grapes and styles.

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