SHADRACH, Meshach and Abednego were three Hebrew men celebrated in the Old Testament because they refused to bow down to a golden image of Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon, were punished by being cast into a fiery furnace and miraculously walked unharmed from the flames.
Now, 2500 years on, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego are braving the fiery furnace of the global wine market on behalf of the Accolade Wine Group’s Grant Burge brand.
The Grant Burge 2010 Shadrach Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012 Meshach Shiraz and 2014 Abednego Shiraz-Mourvedre-Grenache have hit bottle shop shelves, and my tasting bench, and are reviewed below. All three are crafted from Barossa grapes by chief winemaker Craig Stansborough, who has been making Burge wines for 25 years – rating the 2012 Meshach as one of the great Barossa vintages because of the below-average yields, small berries and ideal ripening conditions.
I agree, it’s a red free of the heavy-handed oak that marred some earlier vintages and shows superb flavour, balance and long-term cellaring qualities.
I’ve been tasting each Meshach release since the 1991 vintage and I have vivid memories of Grant Burge in 1997 hosting a Sydney lunch launching the 1993 wine and promoting the Meshach as super-premium flagship red ranking with Penfolds' Grange and the Henschke Hill of Grace. To prove his point, he served me and other wine writers the 1991 Meshach alongside the 1991 Penfolds Grange, Henschke Hill of Grace, Brokenwood Graveyard and two top-rank French Rhone reds, the Cote-Rotie Cotes Brunes et Blondes from Guigal and the Hermitage Monier de la Sizeranne from Chapoutier.
The 1991 Meshach certainly backed Grant’s claims, but I confess to giving the Brokenwood Graveyard top ranking. Grant made the first Meshach in 1988 and he name honoured his great grandfather, pioneer Barossa winegrower Meshach William Burge.
Sourced from the Burge Filsell vineyard, at the southern end of the Barossa Valley, near Lyndoch, the wines are only produced when top grapes are available and are given five years’ bottle age and intended to have a cellar life of 20 to 25 years.
The success of the Meshach wines led Grant to add Shadrach and Abednego to the stable, which also has another biblical brand, the Balthasar Eden Valley shiraz.
In 2015 Accolade Wines bought the Grant Burge brand and business, established in 1988 by Grant and his wife Helen, who retained ownership of their 365 hectares of Barossa vineyards.
Their vines continue to supply grapes for the Burge label wines under Accolade ownership.
WITH 14% alcohol, the Grant Burge 2012 Meshach Shiraz is deep purple and has enticing scents of mulberries and rosemary. Rich, ripe plum flavour rolls onto the front palate, rhubarb, dark chocolate, cinnamon and savoury oak chime in on the middle palate and the finish shows minty tannins. It’s on grantburge.com.au and bottle shops. PRICE: $175. DRINK WITH: fillet mignon. AGEING: 18 years.
RATING: 5.5 stars
THE Grant Burge 2014 Abednego Shiraz-Mourvedre-Grenache has 13.5% alcohol, bouquet garni aromas and 37% shiraz, 35% mourvedre and 28% grenache and is purple-tinted crimson. The front palate has spicy blackcurrant flavour, the middle palate dried cranberry, Turkish delight chocolate, cloves and vanillin oak and the finish dusty tannins. PRICE: $78. DRINK WITH: coq au vin. AGEING: six years.
RATING: 4.5 stars
THIS Grant Burge 2010 Shadrach Cabernet Sauvignon is bright garnet in the glass and has 13.5% alcohol and berry pastille aromas. Vibrant cassis flavour displays the front of the palate and elements of blackberry, licorice, mint and toasty oak come through on the middle palate. Ferric tannins show at the finish. PRICE: $92. DRINK WITH: rack of lamb with Bordelaise sauce. AGEING: 12 years.
RATING: 5 stars