I have made no secrets about my enjoyment of Glaymond and Tscharke wines in the past. For those of you who haven’t seen my old pseudo website, I believe that Damien Tscharke’s wines are under-appreciated and have no doubt that if you continue to be in two minds about them, then simply meeting the man in person would dispel those thoughts.
Damien is releasing a new label called ‘Barossa Grounds’ which are single vineyard wines from the Marananga district – off the Gnadenfrei and Stonewell vineyards. In doing so, he has managed to capture to essence of the land while showcasing the best characteristics of the Grenache, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Mataro grapes. The wines are good examples of robust elegance if such a thing is permitted to exist.
Tscharke Barossa Grounds Collection Marananga Grenache 2011, Gnadenfrei Vineyard, Barossa Valley
AUD$32 direct from winery. Clear med+ to intense ruby colour. Youthful restrained cluster of cherry syrup, transient waft of truffle and salted strawberry preserve. Dry, medium+ bodied wine with an even slate of grainy tannins. There is definitely an ample amount of acidity there, but it isn’t on the forefront because there is plenty else to enjoy. Firm structure, med+ intensity flavours of strawberry and cherry fruit. There is some savoury plum on the well-rounded finish. 14.5% alc. Certainly one could say this is a stray away from the typical bombastic black Grenache wines of the Barossa, but the rainy 2011 vintage has certainly allowed the softer characteristics of this varietal shine through. 4000 bottles produced. Drink now – 2017. 91/100.
Tscharke Barossa Grounds Collection Marananga Mataro 2010, Stonewell Vineyard, Barossa Vineyard
AD$32 direct from winery. Intense black ruby colour. A youthful bouquet garni-esque mix of blueberry and blackcurrant, fresh baked muffins, dried herbs and toasted peppercorns. Dry, full-bodied wine with plush grippy tannins and high acidity that pauses for a couple of seconds before sweeping across. Rich flavours of plum, blueberry muffin, dark chocolate and a dash of cinnamon. 15% alc. Supple rounded finish. 3333 bottles produced. The 2010 vintage is widely hailed as one of the historical bests for the Barossa Valley. This brilliant Mataro embodies the vintage conditions and is thoroughly enjoyable. Drink now – 2019+. 93/100.
Tscharke Barossa Grounds Collection Marananga Shiraz 2010, Gnadenfrei Vineyard, Barossa Valley
AUD$32 direct from winery. Intense black purplish ruby colour. Youthful lifted warm florals, liquorice and crème de cassis that is dense and weighted, feeling very compact at present. Dry, full-bodied wine with young velvety tannins that are grippy right now but should become more sleek with time. 15% alc. Ripe acidity takes a step to the back for the ripe fuller flavours of blackcurrant and liquorice to be on the forefront. Long lingering finish that goes for more than a minute. Wow! My previous fracas with Marananga shiraz left me thinking it was all brash and dense fruit forward wines. This is a half step back, there is layered depth without relinquishing the exciting fruit flavours. 6667 bottles produced. Drink 2014/5 – 2025. 95/100.
Tscharke Barossa Grounds Collection Marananga Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, Stonewell Vineyard, Barossa Valley
AUD$32 direct from winery. Intense black ruby colour. Youthful perfume of blackcurrant, black plums, cloves and smoking pan grill. Dry, full-bodied wine, silky texture, smooth velvety tannins and abundant acidity. Rich sweeping flavours of plum, almost Serbian plum brandy-like, blackcurrants and hint of anise. 15% alc. The balance of flavour intensity and firmness of the structure is a stand-out for me. I am completely bored with the big finishes, and this wine lets you drift down to ground in a parachute. 6667 bottles produced. Drink now – 2022. 93-94/100.
Also recommended: Barossa Gold Shiraz, GSM and Cabernet Sauvignon. These retail for ~AUD$17.
For availability in the USA, contact Martin Scott Wines operating in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.