Gary Mill’s pure, detailed Syrahs and irresistibly quirky Harem series have become touchstone examples of the Victorian wine zeitgeist. The benefits of his bold, non-interventionist approach—the high-definition clarity, enigmatic nuance and crackling energy—are evident across each wine under the Jamsheed label. Evident too, is Mills’ schooling under the brilliant Paul Draper at Ridge Vineyards in California’s Santa Cruz Mountains. A new-world pioneer of the “nonaction” school (Draper’s term), the Californian’s wines have managed to enthrall, like few others, seemingly diverse vinous circles. Mill’s wines, too, go far beyond their “groovy”, “hipster-booze” stereotype (as portrayed recently in the mainstream media). Mill’s approach in the winery is staunchly pre-industrial and reminds us most of Hermitage purist Bernard Faurie; long macerations, wild yeast fermentation, high proportion of whole bunches, no additions except for a little sulphur dioxide and no fining or filtration. The use of oak is restricted to used and larger format barrels.
Jamsheed’s Syrah wines, drawn from single-vineyard sites across Victoria, precisely capture each plot’s regional idiosyncrasies—seemingly in three dimensions. Gary Mills is justifiably renowned for these spine-tingling Syrah’s - even the international press corps have been making comparisons with the great names of the northern Rhône. Yet Mills is also a dab hand with many other varieties, producing exceptional Roussanne and Riesling under the Jamsheed label and a wide range of styles under Harem.
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