Australian Wine Review: April 7, 2022: Andrew Graham

Rock of Wisdom Old Vine Grenache 2021

Updated packaging on these Rock of Wisdom wines, and they look a treat. Pete Hiscock said he’s been ‘tweaking and fine-tuning what we do in the winery’, and you can see it in the lively, affable, and well-formed low touch Barossan reds. This Grenache, along with the Shiraz below, are the high points. Sourced from an old vineyard in Light Pass, this is jubey, juicy, with no noticeable oak (9 months in 25% new), and has this combination of instant, black and red-fruited Grenache appeal, but with some old vine light and shade to add complexity. There’s this licoricey seam, along with a kaleidoscope of glacé raspberry, black jube, mulberry and more that drives it. Moreish. All fruit, but proudly so. A Grenache showcase wine. My only grief is the tiny print on the back label. I had to take a photo and then enlarge it just to read the alcohol %.

Best drinking: good now and then for at least eight years. 18/20, 93/100. 14.5%, $35. Rock of Wisdom website. Would I buy it? Yes.



Rock of Wisdom Shiraz 2020

There is usually a bit of Viognier in the blend here, but none this vintage. This Shiraz, sourced from Koonunga in the north end of the Barossa (Grange country), doesn’t smell like typical Barossa red, though the fruit all black jubes but with a mushroom and iodine edge. It’s a silken wine too, medium-bodied, not overpowering and black-fruited and savoury with some firm (stalk?) tannins to finish. Grows on you. Not insubstantial. No noticeable oak, lovely silken feel. It’s a different, more interesting take on a pretty classic style. I like it.

Best drinking: good now and for a decade, no sweat. 18/20, 93/100. 14.5%, $35. Rock of Wisdom website. Would I buy it? Yes.


Rock of Wisdom Mataro 2021

Barossan Mataro goes into fun and affable mode. Old Mataro is usually grumpy and dark, but this Rock of Wisdom is packed with jubey dark berry fruits. All frisky blackberry with no oak in sight. Just blackberry liqueur. Has that back palate fruit drive of good Mataro, but none of the heavy darkness. Only light to medium-bodied and built to drink now. A fun, blackberried drink it is regardless if just a little warm on the finish. I like the extra depth of the Grenache and Shiraz more, but this is unquestionably easygoing.

Best drinking: good now, and then for at least eight years. 17.5/20, 93/100. 14, $35. Rock of Wisdom website. Would I buy it? Yes, a few glasses would be good.