Friday, July 28, 2017

Two Hands 2016 Gnarly Dudes Shiraz, Barossa Valley

Two Hands is a winery that is making a splash internationally. They have captured our attention with artfully crafted wines that express the terroir of superb Australian regions including McLaren Vale and Barossa Valley.

Gnarly, Dude!

This wine’s name is not an attempt to appeal to California surfers! Gnarly Dudes by Two Hands was inspired by the Cohen Brothers movie The Big Lebowski and is also named for the gnarly old Shiraz vines used. The grapes are from Barossa Valley, Australia’s most famous wine region.

We’re big fans of Two Hands and are pleased to see they are generating significant buzz in the US with the wine media and consumers. Two Hands Gnarly Dudes can be found in Costco and in other stores I’ve overhead customers quizzing the wine manager about the availability of Two Hands.

Two Hands Winery was founded in 1999 by Michael Twelftree and Richard Mintz. Today, Two Hands is owned by Michael, together with Colorado native Tim Hower. The goal then and now is to make the best possible Shiraz-based wines from prized growing regions throughout Australia. Determined to be different than the formulaic style of Shiraz sold internationally, Two Hands turned the focus on spotlighting the regional and vineyard characteristics. In short, they are focused on the fruit.

We recently tasted the 2016 Gnarly Dudes Shiraz and it is a joyful wine. At our farewell party in Ohio (prior to our move to North Carolina) we uncorked “the Dude” and it impressed with rich Shiraz flavors. This is a wine that can be appreciated by a connoisseur or a novice. In the glass it is a dark purple. It is rich and plush with deep blackberry flavors. This is a refined and integrated wine.

Shiraz, Syrah: Two Sides Of The Same Coin

For those unfamiliar with Shiraz, it is the same grape as Syrah. The styles of the wines produced by the grape can vary. Shiraz is a signature red grape of Australia. Some Shiraz from down under can have a degree of sweetness but it is also capable of producing some of the world’s greatest wines.

The 2016 Dude gets 12 months in 15% in new French oak and the remainder in one to six-year-old French oak barrels. The alcohol is 13.8%. This is a wine that can age for six to 10 years, but drinks beautifully now. We recently tried the 2014 vintage, and the two extra years of bottle age added to the beauty of the wine. Gnarly Dudes retails for about $32 and is a delectable value at that price.

Put your Two Hands in the air for this outstanding wine!

Full disclosure: We received this wine as a marketing sample.

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