The Shiraz block at the Leston Vineyard, Margaret River.
Pascal Marchand and Jeff Burch launched their eponymous wine brand, Marchand & Burch in 2007, after their friendship evolved into a partnership with the goal of producing great Burgundy, and great Australian wines from the two exemplar Burgundian varietals, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Where then does Shiraz fit into this picture? The variety hails from the Rhone Valley in France and although planted widely in Margaret River usually plays second fiddle to Cabernet Sauvignon in the hearts and minds of critics and wine lovers.
In this case these two otherwise rational men were seduced by the fruit from a special block in the Leston Vineyard surrounding our Margaret River Winery. The Shiraz on block 17 of the Leston Vineyard was planted in 1996 on a west facing ridge with varying depths of lateritic gravel soils overlying denser rock platforms. This combination of aspect and soil type produced low yielding fruit with great concentration of flavour, which continued to intensify as the vines matured.
Pascal was particularly taken with the flavour and quality of the fruit and, over a bottle of Pinot no doubt, convinced Jeff that they should begin to dabble with Shiraz. Inevitably, a Shiraz produced by a master winemaker with over 20 years of training in Burgundy was going to stand apart from the usual offerings. The wines produced in 2008 and 2009, both excellent vintages in Margaret River, display an alluring balance of powerful fruit and subtle spice, mouth filling richness, silky texture on the palate and a satisfying savoury finish.
Inevitably the focus on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay became all-encompassing. These two vintage wines represent a unique moment in time in the evolving history of Marchand & Burch. Jeff once told me that often as great wines from Burgundy and the Rhone mature it becomes harder to tell them apart as they begin to display similar secondary characteristics. The Marchand & Burch Shiraz, which is drinking beautifully now and will continue to evolve if carefully cellared over the next five years, is beginning to explore some of this highly interesting territory.
We are very pleased to be able to offer both these wines to our wine club members, individually or in a mixed six pack and at members’ exclusive pricing:
Purchase Marchand & Burch Shiraz here
2008 Marchand & Burch Shiraz – 3899 bottles produced – read more notes here
2009 Marchand & Burch Shiraz – 3641 bottles produced – read more notes here
“From a single site at Wilyabrup, this is a distinguished wine, its texture and structure superb; the flavours are in a dark plum and black cherry spectrum, lifted and lilting on the finish and aftertaste, oak and tannins in perfect unison. 96 Points”
-James Halliday, James Halliday Wine Companion
“Vines about 25 years old. First vintage. Hand-picked. Bright crimson. Racy and fragrant and fresh. Sophisticated! Lovely complex mouthful. 17 Points.”
-Jancis Robinson, JancisRobinson.com
“Very deep purple-black colored, the 2009 Shiraz gives earthy / meaty notes of damp soil, underbrush, black truffles and prosciuto over blackberry tart, black cherry preserves and anise. Medium bodied with a great concentration of black berry and savory flavors in the mouth, it has very lively acid, medium-firm rounded tannins and a long, layered finish. Approachable now, it should drink best 2012 to 2019+. 91 Points.”
-Lisa Perrotti-Brown, eRobertParker