The sad bankruptcy of importer the Grateful Palate means no more Bitch Grenache, Evil Chardonnay and many more brands our customers probably recognize. While many small importers are secretly cheering (the word I got was that these brands were not well regarded by many family producers who viewed them as a bit of a sellout), I think this is a real loss for small Australian producers. While the big brands were probably the most profitable for the company they also imported wonderful and really unique small-production wines. A few that come to mind are the dry-farmed Grenaches from Burge, the ridiculously delicious Samuel's Gorge Tempranillo and the Hazy Blur Shiraz. All these wines are made by hand on small estates by winemakers using very sophisticated techniques. In other words, the opposite of the vast majority of Australian wine. We have two bottles left of the 2003 Hazy Blur Shiraz and one is currently in the Enomatics. Here is what Robert Parker thought of it.
"From 40-year-old vines, the extraordinary, super-intense 2003 Shiraz Barossa Valley possesses an opaque purple color as well as a big, full-bodied bouquet of creme de cassis, blueberry, creosote, smoke, and background oak, and a heady alcohol content. This limited production cuvee boasts purity and intensity in addition to a multidimensional personality. It should drink well for 7-10 years, possibly longer." 94 points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate #161