2002 CLIFF EDGE Langi Shiraz

Re: 2002 CLIFF EDGE Langi Shiraz

Postby RobFrost » Thu Sep 17, 2009 9:18 pm

Original offer letter:

Dear Friends,

This one is for Rhone enthusiasts as well as classic Shiraz collectors so take note. As a Friday send-off, this is an eye-popping tariff on a wine that was never intended to be a bargain...

We haven’t offered a Mount Langi Ghiran wine in a while but they always garner tremendous interest when we do. If you are new to this property, you can check your Australian preconceptions at the door.

Based in the cool, mountainous Grampians region of Victoria since 1870, this winery was the bastion of Trevor Mast for over two decades before he retired a year ago. Throughout his career, Mast was responsible for some of Australia's iconic and historic wines such as the classic Bin series at Best’s in the 1970s and 1980s (not to mention his own wines) – most are still at peak form today – even those from the 1970s. The Grampians, with unpolluted air, prime high-elevation exposure and solar intensity to match is blessed with a Northern Rhone-like climate that produces a most distinctive Shiraz (many would say it is Australia's closest thing to Hermitage). The resulting wines speak just as loudly to Tain as they do to Melbourne and the cool-climate, balanced (lower-alcohol) approach at Mount Langi Ghiran gives their Shiraz extended ageing ability. Most of their wine becomes more complex as the years pass and they are generally at peak 10-15 years after the vintage.

In certain growing seasons, Langi produces a “Cliff Edge” Shiraz that is taken from a parcel of the Blue Label vineyard that abuts the cliff on the (you guessed it) edge of their property. It is straight down to a certain rocky doom if you fall over the side but the same frightening position has its climactic advantages – wind, to name one, and an almost constant 2-3 degree difference in temperature from the heart of the estate (2-3 degrees cooler). This is a very good thing for acidity and primal, varietal Syrah character and the Cliff Edge takes full advantage. When the vintage is exemplary, they also source wine for this label from the Robinson’s estate next door (with a similar exposition) - this fruit is highly prized and should go into a far more expensive wine (but it doesn’t).

One of my favorite stories about Mount Langi Ghiran centers around the Cliff Edge’s most famous customer – wild parrots known as Rosella birds that come to Mount Langi specifically to snack on the Shiraz (they know a good thing when they taste it). They’ve snacked to such a degree that Trevor had to sew a massive net to cover the entire parcel (although the parrots are smarter than that and they still find their way to the grapes). This incredible flock of parrots became almost domesticated over the years and I believe Trevor used to uncover/sacrifice a few vines for them each week during the growing season but he never told anyone. People could never figure out why the parrots were always so sweet to Trevor but they always flew away from everyone else...

The 2002 vintage of Cliff Edge was a success from the get-go. It took advantage of a cold growing season and it is an uncommon value in terroir-focused Australian wine. Normally, $9.99 doesn't bring much in the way of character but at Mount Langi Ghiran it certainly does. Revered in Oz as a wine of breed (it uses the same expensive corks and bottles as the Blue Label), Wine Mag (Australia) went ballistic for the 2002 Cliff Edge when it was released and (to his credit) Harvey Steiman fully understood the nature of this wine even though it bares little resemblance to most of the highly scored glop-bombs of the genre.

If you are used to the typical from Australia, Mount Langi Ghiran should change your preconception of Shiraz for the better and the 2002 Cliff Edge is certainly worth your experimentation. As a blind wine, it will provide great folly if you have a particularly knowledgeable Rhone enthusiast in attendance:

Wine Spectator: “Brilliantly aromatic, brimming with black pepper and racy, juicy, tart blueberry and blackberry flavors, hinting at green peppercorn as the finish lingers. Well-knit, this needs food to complete the picture. Best from 2010 through 2015. 90pts”

This parcel has impeccable provenance, stored under ideal conditions since release – it has not been sitting on a retailer store shelf for four years.

NO SALES TO RETAILERS OR WHOLESALERS

This parcel arrives in approximately one week:

2002 Mount Langi Ghiran “Cliff Edge” Shiraz - $9.99 (WS90)(WA/NR)
(compare at $16-25, even more in Australia)

Please give us your maximum number up to 60/person and we will allocate accordingly (we cannot offer more than five cases to one person)

To order: niki@garagistewine.com

This wine arrives with impeccable provenance in a few weeks, (check OARS for local pick up). It will ship during the Fall shipping season.

Out of state orders will be held for free under ideal storage conditions (56 degrees/70%humidity) until shipping is possible. Locals may pick up at their leisure.

For current local pick up and arrival/ship information, please see your OARS link below (at the bottom of this offer) - don’t know how to access your OARS? Simply click the link and see your account. You can also paste the link into your browser. If you are having trouble with your link or your account, please contact: support@garagistewine.com

NO SALES TO RETAILERS OR WHOLESALERS

Thank you,

Jon Rimmerman
Garagiste
Seattle, WA


Aus7612
RobFrost
 
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Location: Portland, OR

Re: 2002 CLIFF EDGE Langi Shiraz

Postby RobFrost » Thu Sep 17, 2009 9:20 pm

2002 Mount Langi Ghiran Shiraz Cliff Edge - Australia, Victoria, Western Victoria, Grampians (9/9/2009)
Pop & Pour. Very robust cool-climate shiraz from Victoria. Nice blackberry fruit, lots of earth, drinking at peak. For $10, you can't go wrong! (88 pts.)

2002 Mount Langi Ghiran Shiraz Cliff Edge - Australia, Victoria, Western Victoria, Grampians (10/2/2009)
Slightly port-like on the nose, sweet and fruity. A nice mix of sweet blackberry fruit, earth and black pepper. (89 pts.)

2002 Mount Langi Ghiran Shiraz Cliff Edge - Australia, Victoria, Western Victoria, Grampians (11/11/2009)
Opened this one over the weekend and then capped and forgot about it...oops. Big fruit when first opened, but now is showing some prune and stewed fruit flavors, with some biting acidity. Bitter on the finish also...My fault for letting it sit so long. (84 pts.)
RobFrost
 
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Location: Portland, OR

Re: 2002 CLIFF EDGE Langi Shiraz

Postby mocamro » Tue Mar 23, 2010 12:36 pm

a note from Early Feb

4+12+15+5+50 = 86 - Very Good
dusty red/purple color...sticks and stones on the nose, along with some dried red fruits and strong acid...the acid continues on the palate, along with clean red fruits...it is a very lean wine, not sweet/ripe or rich
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Re: 2002 CLIFF EDGE Langi Shiraz

Postby egath » Fri Mar 26, 2010 9:44 am

Opened and tasted immediately. Almost Pinotage-like with a dense gamy meaty nose, and quite unbalanced and confused palate. After an hour though, all that meatiness and confusion faded into a decent, though too hot and prunish, shiraz. For $10, it was worth it, but unfortunately I have 3 more.

Wonder if the initial nose might have been due to some reduction processes under the screw cap?
egath
 
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Re: 2002 CLIFF EDGE Langi Shiraz

Postby Ken Schramm » Mon Sep 06, 2010 4:30 pm

Curious. Mine are under cork, and are not at all prunish. Fruity, and I'd buy into dried cherries. I get gamy and some spice from oak, but not as pronounced in the oak as I have come to expect from other Aussies. More acidity than heat, clean through the finish. The '03 Pesquie Les Terrasses I worked through earlier this week was both hotter (both claim 13.5%) and considerably more disjointed.
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Re: 2002 CLIFF EDGE Langi Shiraz

Postby KToadd » Mon Nov 15, 2010 8:22 pm

Does anyone have any of this left? I live in Eugene, OR and would love to purchase. We have three bottles remaining and just love it! zachg@efn.org
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