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: Blackjack

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Blackjack

www.blackjackwines.com.au

PO Box 67, Harcourt, 3453

Cellar Door: Weekends and pub hols (11-5)

Ph: (03) 5474 2355

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Photo courtesy Blackjack
label

BlackJack Vineyards is situated on the granitic soil of the Harcourt Valley and is fairly well known across Victoria for its popular big and sweet Chortles Edge Shiraz.

BlackJack was the name given to an American sailor who, during the goldrush era of the 1850s, jumped ship and found his way to the Castlemaine goldfields. A road adjacent to BlackJack Vineyards still bears his name.

Also in search of liquid gold, the McKenzie and Pollock families planted their first vines in 1988. Further planting in 1989 completed the initial four-hectare vineyard development of mainly Shiraz and Cabernet with a small area of Merlot.

BlackJack vineyards released its first wine in November 1994 and in the ensuing decade and a half has established a good reputation for producing full bodied oaky red wines. James Halliday gave the winery a 5 star ranking in his 2006 Australian Wine Companion.

The most widely distributed wine is the lush and sweet Chortle's Edge Shiraz which is sourced from grapes grown around the district. My personal favourite is the Block 6 Shiraz which is more savoury with a firmer tannic structure.

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View of the cellar door. Photo courtesy Blackjack
Tasting Notes

There are three types of Tasting notes:

(W) Notes from the winery (blurbs from bottle)

(GXY) Notes from a GenXY wine reviewer

(G) Notes from GenXY's Tasting events (collective opinions)

Blackjack Block 6 Shiraz 2014

Purchased: Not ($38)

Drink: 2026

(GXY) Tasting: April 2017, floral black cherry, mulberry and dark plums with black pepper, eucalypt and fennel notes, elegant, complex and medium bodied without losing the upfront juiciness, finishes savoury with dusty tannins and coffee/clove/cedar oak (****1/2)

Blackjack Cabernet Merlot 2014

Purchased: Not ($28)

Drink: 2019

(GXY) Tasting: April 2017, medium bodied plum and redcurrant with rosemary and mint notes, the 10% Merlot seems over-ripe with stressed plum pudding aspects, earthy undercarriage with fine tannins (***)

Blackjack Block 6 Shiraz 2013

Purchased: Not ($40)

Drink: 2026

(GXY) Tasting: June 2016, floral and peppery blackberry and sour cassis with flashes of red fruit and violet florals, medium-full bodied with a touch of herbal meatiness, fine dusty tannins and balanced coffee/clove/cedar oak, finishes savoury with good length (****)

Blackjack Block 6 Shiraz 2012

Purchased: Not ($38)

Drink: 2025

(GXY) Tasting: April 2015, different clone than that used with the estate Shiraz, powerful and deep set blackberry and mulberry with black pepper and mint notes,  slaty medium-full bodied palate is focused and shows some herbal meat complexity, backbone of dusty tannins and restrained coffee/cedar/clove oak (****1/2)

Blackjack Block 6 Shiraz 2010

Purchased: Not ($38)

Drink: 2024

(GXY) Tasting: May 2014, uses a different clone to the estate Shiraz, fragrant with a good, focussed core blackberry and redcurrant with white pepper, mint and violet notes, deep set, firm and medium-full bodied palate, layers of powdery tannin, vanilla/cedar/clove oak and vibrant acidity on the lingering finish (****1/2)

Blackjack Cabernet Merlot 2012

Purchased: Not ($28)

Drink: 2017

(GXY) Tasting: May 2014, juicy black cherry, mulberry and cassis with capsicum, herb and mint notes, medium bodied with some earthiness, firm and green edged acid with powdery tannins, dark chocolate/cedar finish (***)

BlackJack Shiraz 2010

Purchased: Not ($35)

Drink: 2018

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2013, fleshy, flavoursome and extractive blackberry, raspberry and fruitcake with violet, anise and menthol notes, plump medium-full boded palate, fine grained open knit tannins,  matching cedar/clove/chocolate oak inputs (***1/2)

BlackJack Cabernet Merlot 2010

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2013, in a leaner, herbaceous, medium bodied mode than the drought vintages, juicy redcurrant and cassis with capsicum and mint notes, modest earthiness and length, fine grained tannins, fresh but firm edged, stalky acidity, seems  to have uneven ripeness (***)

Blackjack Shiraz 2008

Purchased: Not ($35)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: Apr 2011, rich, extractive style showing blackberry, raspberry and liqueur cherry with liquorice and white pepper notes, medium-full bodied with open knit tannins and the oak bringing clove, cedar and dark chocolate to the finish, easy drinking style for the medium term (***1/2)

Blackjack Cabernet Merlot 2008

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2018

(GXY) Tasting: Apr 2011, brightly flavoured, glycerolly and medium bodied plum and cassis with some savoury olive notes alongside some menthol, earthy with a streak of minerality and chewy fine grained tannin, some chocolate/vanilla/cedar on the finish, good length (***1/2)

Blackjack Shiraz 2006

Purchased: Not ($35)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2008, fairly lush blackberry and raspberry with some well framed black pepper, anise and eucalypt features, medium-full bodied with lots of creamy, sweet coconut-cedar oak, fine and grainy tannins (***1/2)

Blackjack Cabernet Merlot 2006

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2008, a Cabernet dominated blend with only a 15% Merlot input, blackcurrant with a bit of mulberry sweetness and mint, overall the palate is medium bodied and savoury with some black olive and white pepper, pronounced minerally texture with a cedary finish, lingering but grainy tannins (***1/2)

Blackjack Shiraz 2005

Purchased: Not ($35)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: July 2007, concentrated blackcurrant and plum with some raspberry features, savoury and full bodied with white pepper, clove and cinnamon notes, smooth with lots of sweet coconut-vanilla oak (***1/2)

Blackjack Chortles Edge Shiraz 2005

Purchased: Not ($18)

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: July 2007, fairly big and sweet with plum and blackcurrant with a touch of raspberry, smooth with white pepper and cinnamon, sweet coconut and dark chocolate oak features, has a bit of minerally tannic grip (***1/2)

Blackjack Cabernet Merlot 2005

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: July 2007, earthy expression of blackcurrant and mulberry, medium bodied with savoury, menthol and black olive features, some dark chocolate complements the rather assertive vanilla-cedary oak features, smooth tannins (***)

Blackjack Block 6 Shiraz 2004

Purchased: Not ($35)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: June 2006, dark cherry and cassis aromas with white pepper features, medium bodied palate is quite savoury and well structured, firm acid and tannic structure, one to be cellared (****)

Blackjack Chortle's Edge Shiraz 2004

Purchased: Not ($18)

Drink: 2008

(GXY) Tasting: June 2006, ripe cherry and plum nose, medium bodied, savoury palate with regional earthiness and smooth, slightly drying tannins, good value (***1/2)

Blackjack Cabernet Merlot 2004

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: June 2006, cassis and mulberry nose with the expected mint, medium bodied palate is quite earthy and savoury but a bit closed, tannins are quite grippy yet, another one that needs at least five years cellaring to round out (***)