The recent Boireann Bunch Winemaker’s Dinner held at a suburban western district of Brisbane (Graceville) restaurant did not raise mention of any five star status.
Stars: what are they to the Boireann winemakers Peter and Therese Stark who sell their wares annually during a short period of time when subscribers take up allocations. So the 2010 vintage was safely sold and banked!
The star meaning was Boireann now has five five-star winery ratings on end: afforded by the grand writer of them all in this country, James Halliday, in his Australian Wine Companion 2012 released in July.
The bunch attending this dinner were the converted: many enthusiastic baby boomer level collectors who take up their vintage allocation then give their bottles cellar resting time.
You see Boireann are great agers but only a small portion of people realise or know this because their ultra-high quality production, red only, is miniscule. There is a dash of white in the vineyard, viognier, grown to co-ferment with shiraz.
And the wines at this dinner were assorted vintages; meaning that Peter and Therese are sharing some older wines they considered to be looking pretty crash hot or failing that, simply their terroir examples, and the eager palates were having time like old friends do.
I went along to see what this no-fuss event was about finding there were no other scribes. Nor did I have to jot a note or two but it rapidly became obvious these wines could not be missed.
Boireann Grenache 2004 13% (no longer sold); under cork, +++; russet/brown colour, very much the wine with terroir and maturity, rustic, damp grass and wet earth, all the funky tones that the grape picks up on its way to maturity, now there, palate very tight and soft, drying. Absolutely perfect with steak tartare-pairing raw meat and earth bombs.
This variety has since been pulled out due to bunch collapse in later years, and replaced with such interesting reds as tannat and brunello clones of sangiovese. A straight tannat has been made for the first time in 2011.
Boireann Merlot 2007 13% (no longer sold); also under cork, +++1/2; cherry/purple, great colour, has nose complexity and strength, tight and powerful tannins which have not loosened much yet, Pete says 2016-2019 is its drinking window, and I have no reason to think otherwise. Merlot with backbone, drunk alongside oxtail to prove its might.
Boireann Vigne Juveniles Shiraz Viognier 2008 14% (USD 26 ); ++++1/2; has perfume, has spice and attitude, lifted funk and nose crunch, alluring, makes you want more, big flavour entry and backbone of a wine just slowing moving along, but in no rush, powdery tannins now, one day these will close over. Young vine wine served with beef and stood up.
Boireann Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 13.2% (USD 29); ++++; good but not great colour, this brand often does amazing things with wine colour, smells tight, tastes tight, really layered and coiled up tannins + acidity+ flavour core bind it up to be a keeper-as you do with this brand. Don’t rush; also paired with rare eye and loved it, goats cheese and mushroom adding to the forest flavours. Pete says drink 2020.
Boireann Shiraz Mourvedre 2010 14.5% (USD 31); ++++; deep and pippy, currants and black fruits, struck match barrel ferment characters there now, potential to go funkier yet, enormous power in the mouth, backbone plus, drink in ten years, no earlier, made the triple cream brie running beside it look short flavoured.
Dinner venue: Boucher (old converted butchery, bistro) restaurant run by ex-South Bank city chef Peter Carter.
Peter Scudamore-Smith is a Brisbane-based Master of Wine, winemaker and educator www.uncorkedandcultivated.com.au
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