Over the last 20 years, brothers John and James Lienert have transformed the family’s farm on the western edge of the Barossa Valley into a viticultural wonderland. Every grape used to craft a Jack West wine is grown in those vineyards, where the broad blue skies, long sunny days and famed ‘terra rossa’ soils allow flavour and solid structure to develop naturally.
The elevated position takes advantage of afternoon sea breezes from nearby St Vincent Gulf to cool the canopy, producing bright aromatics and retaining natural acidity in the wines.
Just two words are required to describe the 2018 Barossa vintage. Bloody. Marvellous. Preceding winter rains were fair to average, with further ‘sprinkles’ through spring and early summer resulting in resplendent canopies and a well hung crop. A bit of the hot stuff is always to be expected in South Australia in January, but that rubbish gave way quickly to the type of weather that affords a bit of hard work and a lot of cold beer. Big blue skies, gentle breezes, crisp cool nights and an entirely unrushed harvest as nature coughed up an absolute cracker.
Fruit is sourced from selected blocks on our vineyard estate at Gomersal on the Barossa Valley’s western ridge. Harvested in the cool quiet of night (that is if you can ignore the clatter of the harvester), the fruit is destemmed and fermented in open top stainless steel fermenters. Twice daily pump overs ensure good colour, flavour and gentle tannin extraction whilst promoting vibrant sub regional varietal expression on the nose. Maturation in seasoned French and American hogsheads for 9 months softens the wine and adds a subtle nuance of vanilla.
Winemaker’s tasting note
A big burst of black/ blue spiced fruits on the nose, with complex flavours of black cherry and sarsaparilla spice on the palate wrapped around a firm tannin backbone that is the hallmark of Shiraz grown in our family’s vineyards.
James Lienert, Understudy to Mr West
2017 Shiraz Reviews
2017 Lienert Vineyards ‘Jack West’ Shiraz – 94 points
“Sweetly fruited and beautifully perfumed, the wine shows Black Doris plum, blackberry, violet, olive and toasted nut characters on the nose. The palate is equally satisfying with succulent fruit intensity and excellent mid-palate weight, wonderfully supported by refined mouthfeel and polished tannins, finishing long and stylish. At its best: now to 2027” – Sam Kim, wineorbit.co.nz Dec 2019
2017 Lienert Vineyards ‘Jack West’ Shiraz – 95 points
Gold Medal, 2019 Marananga Wine Show
2017 Lienert Vineyards ‘Jack West’ Shiraz – 93 points
“Righteously done, bold, currants-meet-dark-chocolatey red wine of fleshiness, heft and slurpy texture. Big bouquet of similar with a lifted woody-spice kind of aroma. Lots of everything, but lots of balance too. Warming, generous red will seduce the big red wine enthusiast.” – Mike Bennie, WBM, Dec 2019
2017 Lienert Vineyards ‘Jack West’ Shiraz – 91 points
“Blue and black fruit, a sort of lavender and sage perfume, and plenty of spice for a Barossa Shiraz. Medium to full-bodied, again that spice and slightly unusual perfume, freshness of acidity, perhaps some roast beef, light grip to the tannin, and a bright blueberry finish of good length. Like this. Has a bit of X-Factor.”
– Gary Walsh, The Wine Front, Oct 2019.
2017 Lienert Vineyards ‘Jack West’ Shiraz – 89 points
“An understated, unusually fragrant Barossa shiraz from the region’s western reaches. Aromas of raspberry, gentle spice, a hint of musk stick. The smooth, succulent palate has fine texture and easy tannins. Quite elegant for a 14.5% Barossa shiraz. A label to watch. “
– Ralph Kyte-Powell, The Real Review