The 2021 The Standish Shiraz was made with fruit from the Laycock family vineyard, Greenock, with 30% whole bunches in the ferment. The Standish Shiraz was the first cuvée launched by Dan Standish in 1999, and the wine is routinely typified by its muscular tannin shape and earthy, savory fruit. The most attractive part of this wine is the splay of exotic market spice (namely sumac, black pepper, star anise and fresh cardamom) that sails in on the coattails of the red/purple fruit. It has all the exoticism and romance of a hike through the mountains of Morocco, yet it, perhaps more than any other wine in the collection, speaks of the Barossa in a clear enunciated voice. So, where does it fit in 2021? The 2021 The Standish Shiraz is finer, prettier and lighter than I have ever seen it at this stage of its life. It has all the spice and Barossan identity that is expected; however, it misses the dense baritone of fruit that is present in earlier iterations. Whether you think that is a positive or not is up to you—I am fond of this wine throughout all its incarnations. Vintage variation is responsible for the spark of curiosity and joy that I experience every year during this release, and the real triumph in 2021 is the ability of the vineyard (this vineyard) to shine through the season that shaped it. 14.9% alcohol.
12th May 2023 | The Wine Advocate | May 2023 Week 2
A 6th generation Barossan, Dan Standish established his eponymous winery in 1999 whilst still working as winemaker at Torbreck Vintners. His endeavour initially began around an ancient parcel of Shiraz owned and farmed by his father. Due to family upheaval this source is now gone but has been supplemented by various sites throughout the Barossa Region that he has identified as significant and unique.
Stylistically Dan's wines are as rich and profound as you would expect from Barossa Valley old vines but they have a satin texture and dreamy perfume that sets them far apart from his contemporaries. Here, dark fruits are encased in cocoa and earthy richness but with gentle spice, soil tone, asphalt and a stony minerality that gives the wines a beautiful dimension. These are special Australian wines made to the same exacting standards as the leading Rhone Valley estates in my portfolio.