Brothers in Arms - A bit of history and three wine reviews
I have had the pleasure of meeting Guy & Liz Adams, owners of the label Brothers in Arms, on several occasions over the past few months. Not only are they personable and stalwarts of the Langhorne Creek region (sixth generation) but they are custodians of the historic Metala Vineyard (the oldest family owned Cabernet vineyard in the world, in excess of 100+ years).
In 1882 the Metala Estate was first purchased and vines planted in 1891. By the early 1900s the estate grew to 2,500 acres, the size it is today. Around 3.9 acres of Shiraz and 2.0 acres of Cabernet from the original plantings remain today producing premium fruit, coming from the Old Block and Cellar Block.
Today several brands herald from this Estate including the flagship ‘Brothers in Arms’; Side by Side; 6th Generation; No 6; Formby & Adams and Killibinbin. I would like to share with you below my tasting notes from the Side By Side range of wines, all from the great 2012 vintage.
Side by Side Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 (14.5%) $27 rrp
Bright in the glass with medium fruit intensity on the nose, suggesting blackcurrants, dark plums, sweet vanillin spice, bramble and dried herbs as the wine opens in the glass. The palate is dry with firm and integrated tannins, supported by fruit weight and a glycerol mouth feel. Additional flavours include mint and chocolate. The finish is long and flavoursome with strong varietal hallmarks. Decant and drink now or cellar over the next 5 - 12 years.
Side by Side Shiraz 2012 (14.5%) $27 rrp
This wine has a deep purple core in the glass with rich plum, cherry, sweet spice and black pepper on the nose. As it opens there is a hint of mocha and red berries. The mouth feel is dry with lovely sweet spice and fruit characters supporting the alcohol and presence of soft tannins. The finish is long with lingering fruit characters, palate weight and a generous juicy contribution from quality fruit. This wine is just starting on its journey so buy now to enjoy in a few years time and cellar with confidence over the next decade.
Side by Side Malbec 2012 (14.5%) $27 rrp
Dense colour in the glass, this wine has a vibrant nose of bramble, dried oregano, dark plums, cherries and sweet vanillin spice. The palate is full bodied, ripe, rich and intense as a Malbec should be. Tannins offer structure and drive and the sweet fruit notes lift the palate weight which is intense. The wine displays the varietal and regional hallmarks of a Malbec. This is a Malbec to cellar for a few years and then enjoy with food in the company of others (6 - 10 years). If you are tempted to sample it now engage a decanter and you will not be disappointed.