Monday, December 12, 2016

Two Hands Garden Series Elevates Aussie Shiraz To Lofty Heights

Whether you call it Shiraz or Syrah, we dig this grape. Two Hands Wine is delivering eye-opening Shiraz expressive of Australia’s best regions.

Contenders For Top Wines Of The Year List

Each year I compile a list of our top wines of the year. It’s a lot of fun reviewing tasting notes, posts and photos.

As I was preparing to do this year’s edition, it dawned on me that I hadn’t reported on two of the best bottles of 2016 – Two Hands Wine 2014 vintages of Bella’s Garden and Lily’s Garden Shiraz. I’m correcting that wrong right now.

We tasted these two as part of Wine Studio, an online wine education program. We previously wrote about Two Hands Wine and their unique philosophy of winemaking. We love their focus on crafting wines that express the essence of the best Australian wine regions.

Fresh From The Garden

Our latest tasting focused on Two Hands Garden Series wines, specifically the Bella’s Garden and Lily’s Garden. They are from Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale respectively, two of the world’s premier wine regions. Simply put, these are outrageously good wines. One sip will win the heart of any wine lover.

We sampled both bottles with some home-made beef stroganoff. This is not a classic pairing, but it worked well with the duo of wines. That’s probably because they are so good they would elevate the most pedestrian fare.

Amplifying our enjoyment was the contrast between the two wines. Each wine represents well the hallmarks of their particular wine region. Bella’s Garden has the boldness of Barossa, while Lilly’s Garden has the elegance of McLaren Vale.

Both Shiraz have deep flavors and lush finishes. They are 14.2% alcohol, but have no “hot,” alcoholic feel. About 90% of any wine is water and some wines taste like that – but not the two Two Hands (not to be confused with tu-tu) Shiraz at our table. The robust, radiant flavors are expansive.

Barossa and McLaren – A Winning Duo

From Barossa, Bella has a focus on dark fruit flavors with blackberry and spice flavor notes. The wine is aged in French oak for 18 months, but just 17% new oak – so the wine is far from tannic. Unlike a two-year old Napa Cabernet, which should age for several more years to let the tannins integrate, Bella’s Garden is ready to be harvested right now. It can still cellar for 10 to 15 years, but we would suggest getting multiple bottles and enjoying one now.

With origins in McLaren Vale, Lily’s Garden has a focus on rich red fruit. There are blueberry flavors to delight you along with notes of vanilla and mocha. Like Bella, Lily has a supple texture that coats the palate and a finish that lingers like a warm summer day. That’s very appealing right now as the daylong snow continues outside my window.

These wines retail for about $46 each. I hesitate to mention this, because you can’t really put a price on happiness. These are wines to savor and are sure to bring a warm smile from the Land Down Under.

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