2015 McLaren Vale Wine Show Class 25 Bronze
2015 Melbourne International Wine Challenge GSM ‘Rhone style’ Silver
60/30/10%, crushed and destemmed, open-fermented with cultured yeast, 10-12 days on skins, matured for 12 months in used French and American oak. Has more structure and texture than many, this going hand in glove with more savoury tannins than usual, and no hint of confected fruit. Although slightly left field, I think it works well. 91 Points 08-Jan-16 James Halliday
“After the recent orgy of pure Grenache at Grenache Day, Whitey finds GSM a touch hard, maybe sinister.
Rusty Mutt Rocky Ox McLaren Vale GSM 2014
$28; 14.5% alcohol; screw cap; 93+++ points
From Bernard Smart’s ancient bush vine vineyard, his personal one high above the Onkaparinga Gorge, presenting a splendid vista over the whole of McLaren Vale to the Gulf St Vincent, patron of viticulturers, the base wine here is about as good as Vales Grenache gets. Winemaker Scott Heidrich has added bits of Shiraz and Mataro to give a sinister gunmetal glint to both the colour and bouquet of that rosy morello cherry Grenache.
It’s added black flavours, too. The wine is as slick and sensuous and as deadly as an asp. It has jet swarf rather than tannin, after steely whiprod acidity. It actually tastes shiny and black. It is neither rusty nor muttish, but more your polished hybrid.
This wine is a delicious, vibrant example of the difference between Grenache and the old GSM blend first labelled so at Rosemount in the ’90s. All these ingredient wines are first-class examples of their style, so it’s a pure and true blend. But these darkening tones contributed by even the smallest percentages of Shiraz and Mataro quickly move you from the strawberry field and cherry orchard to the blacksmith’s forge. Which, let’s face it, is a more traditional place to be for the older Australian wino. Even when it’s this silky and shiny. It’ll probly entice the shiniest, silkiest, most slick-backed drinkers. Turf Cork-tipped smokers. Or Craven A.
Tea-smoked duck and shiitake eaters.” 93 Points 24-Sep-15 Philip White
Evolving nicely, intriguing iodine, nutmeg, savoury mulberry and plummy fruit on the palate with firm acidity. Juicy, supple texture and firm but balanced tannins on the finish. Lovelly overall balance and texture, a northern or southern Rhone meets Oz blend? (Anthony Rose) 95 Points 01-Mar-16 Decanter UK
Incidentally, the above Decanter review comes from a feature article on Australian GSM. 71 Australian GSM’s were tasted, and the 2014 Rusty Mutt Rocky OX GSM was equal first.
2016 Melbourne International Wine Challenge ‘OZ Rhone’ $24 & Higher Silver
2016 McLaren Vale Wine Show, class 22 Silver
2016 Adelaide Wine Show Class 49 Bronze
2016 Cowra Wine Show Class 142 Bronze
2017 Wine Showcase Magazine 93 Points
Included in the ‘James Halliday Cellaring Selections’ liftout on the Wine Companion Magazine June/July 2018 issue.
“Attractive aromas here with blood plum, candied orange rind and raspberry liqueur. Old vinous grenache scents! These surge across a rich mid-palate, held close to the chest by the arsenal of mataro tannins, ferruginous, grippy and bloody. There is clear American Oak influence here, with its bourbon-sappiness, but it all works well in a classical regional vein. 93 Points 01-May-18 James Halliday
2018 Wine Showcase Magazine 93 Points
2018 Asia International Wine Competition 92 Points
“Complex briary/dark fruit fragrances with hints of spices and light minty notes. Full flavoured ripe berry palate has good complexity, soft tannins and crisp acidity. 5+” Winestate Magazine 5 Stars 16/4/19
‘Beautifully perfumed and inviting, the bouquet shows dark cherry, plum, violet, thyme and mixed spice characters, leading to a juicy palate that is wonderfully rounded and supple. The wine offers lovely complexity and flowing mouthfeel backed by fine-grained tannins, finishing long and satisfying.’ 94 Points Sam Kim 2019
“A new producer for me. Fine perfume, red and black fruit, some liquorice richness, dried herb in there too, adding a more fragrance. It’s medium-bodied, almost silky in tannin, dark raspberry, a quiet succulence, excellent balance and finish, with gentle grip closing it out. Very good.” 93 Points, June 2020 Gary Walsh, The Winefront
“Richly fruited and powerfully graceful, the wine shows dark fruit richness combined with seductive notes of game, toasted almond, olive and floral on the nose. It’s concentrated on the palate displaying excellent depth and intensity together with refined mouthfeel and silky tannins, finishing impressively long and engaging.” At its best: now to 2028. 95 Points Feb 2020 Sam Kim
“This is very much Grenache dominated. The different flavours of raspberry, blackberry and plum are well integrated. The mouthfeel is smooth, with earthy flavours rounding out the fruit. This is not a challenging wine, but it is pleasantly serious, balanced, and with good acidity. The finish is a little short” 93 Points Feb 2020 Thomas Girgensohn
“Lovely complexity to the nose with secondary notes developing. Big up-front chocolate, raspberry and plum flavours with gentle oak holding it together” 4.5 Stars Feb 2020 Winestate Magazine
“Vibrant purple/red colour, attractive aromas of plums, pepper, dried herbs & a hint of forest floor, lively dynamic palate with lashings of appealing flavours & a great finish – A SMASHING WINE!!” November 19 Dan Traucki
“A lush, generous but well structured GSM blend from McLaren Vale that enjoys floral aromatics from the Grenache, dark chocolate and mocha from Shiraz before Mataro gives both dark fruits and structural tannins that underwrite a good future in the cellar. The wine has enjoyable texture that is led by a weave of plush oak that melds with fine but persistent tannins, the finish has dark berry fruits that are bound with baking spice and some lingering savoury tones.” 93 Points April 2020 Patrick Eckel
“The thing that’s most impressed me about the Rusty Mutt wines is the balance. Approachable now, yet not without depth and substance. They’re just there, unforced, just so. The palate on this GSM shows the leading Grenache based red fruit presence, with the accompanying depth of its counterparts. A generous tail of flavour casts a long shadow across the palate; generosity, balance and persistence” 91 Points Feb 2020 Stuart Robinson – The Vinsomniac
A 61/27/12% blend of grenache, shiraz and mataro that is deliciously rich and fruity with equally seductive fresh raspberries and de-stoned cherries. There isn’t even a glimpse of jam. 95 Points 1/8/20 James Halliday
Additionally, included in the James Halliday Wine Companion Magazine ‘Top Red Selections’ October November issue 2020.
2021 McLaren Vale Wine Show Class 19 Bronze
“Estery sweet strawberry and plum fragrances, a savoury style palate with earthy elements and bold tannins.” 4 Stars, Winestate Magazine 2021