TN: A lineup of top Aussie Shiraz (5/9/2012)
A LINEUP OF TOP AUSSIE SHIRAZ - Charlie's Home (5/9/2012)
Last night, a group of us gathered at BBer Charlie L.'s home for a long put off tasting of top Shiraz. The wines had been opened right after lunch and decanted for about an hour before we started. That seemed to be a good way to handle them. We consumed them over three hours with bread and cheese and conversation.
Aussie Shiraz has certainly had its detractors and its fans. I will admit to not drinking them as much as I did a decade ago. While this tasting did not change my mind, it also re-emphasized the point that once in a while, these are really good wines. While we did not have food, I can see these working with a lot of food including BBQ, Roasted Meats and Veggies and Thai. These wine are all outstanding and delicious. The surprising thing is that they have not aged a whole lot since release. They still have a ton of fruit, many have some serious oak, and seem to be ageing slowly. For those who like to say these wines won't last, this tasting says otherwise. Perhaps they will fall off that proverbial cliff someday, but its not any time soon based on this tasting.
- 2008 Taltarni Brut Taché - Australia
Pale copper in color. Medium sized bubbles. The nose has some baking soda and a slight ginger note. OK acidity. A bit of tangerine on the palate. This is a nice starter that would be food friendly as well. (87 pts.)
Thanks to Charlie for getting this together and sticking with it. It was great to try all of these wines, blind, and together. And we had a lot of fun.
- 2007 Mollydooker Shiraz Velvet Glove - Australia, South Australia, Fleurieu, McLaren Vale
Inky purple in color. This reminds me of a young Integrity. Plenty of cedar and lots of black raspberries. Its sweet and jammy on the palate. Very soft texture though which makes it more approachable. A black raspberry jam on the finish if delicious. This was the group's WOTN. Its kind of a classic Oz Shiraz. Once one agree to accept it for what it is, this is really an outstanding example. (95 pts.)
- 2004 Two Hands Shiraz Ares - Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley
The nose is dusty with black raspberries, clay and some dill. Its a bit rough at first but smooths out with time in the glass. Very tannic. Sweet red raspberry fruit. Slight heat on the finish. Not quite sure where this goes from here, but it did seem to improve in the glass. (93 pts.)
- 1998 Penfolds Grange - Australia, South Australia
Despite being the oldest wine at the table, nobody picked this out blind. It seemed to be a wine that nobody loved or hated (relatively speaking to the other wines). It finished middle of the pack. The nose is dusty with modeling clay and black raspberries. Great texture, best on the table, so perhaps that should have been a clue. It did have a streak of bitter tannins, but that seemed to sort itself out in the glass. Lots of black raspberry fruit. Very long finish. Slight heat. Certainly still youthful. (94 pts.)
- 2002 Marquis Philips Shiraz Integrity - Australia, South Australia, Fleurieu, McLaren Vale
I have never been a big fan of this wine, and for me, it was the last place wine. Other's liked it a bit better. The nose is dusty with alcohol. Some dill. A bit of raspberries. On the palate, this is sweet and cloying. It has heat and lots of tannins. Still plenty of black raspberry fruit. I don't mean to make it sound terrible. It just was not in the class of the better wines. There is still a lot of fruit and it does not have the oak it had a decade ago. Interested to see where this goes. (91 pts.)
- 2005 Glaetzer Shiraz Amon-Ra Barossa Valley - Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley
I have always liked this wine and was surprised I didn't score it higher. Lots of black raspberries, and modeling clay on the nose. Its got a juicy acidity that was different from the others. Jammy black raspberries on the palate. Long finish. Really nice wine but a laggard tonight. (92 pts.)
- 2003 Greenock Creek Shiraz Alices - Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley
Very nice showing for this wine which was the groups #2 WOTN. The nose is a bit muted at first. Then with air, black raspberries, black pepper and some earthy loam. It has a a bit more maturity and complexity than most of these. It took about twenty minutes to open on the palate, then was very nice. Sweet jammy fruit on the finish. (94 pts.)
- 2004 Mitolo Shiraz G.A.M. - Australia, South Australia, Fleurieu, McLaren Vale
This is where I diverged with the group. Some found this bottle flawed. One person said slight TCA (I don't think so as I am pretty sensitive). One said oxidized (I am very insensitive to this), so perhaps. The fact that no one could agree on the "flaw" says something. I found it very good. It was easily the most mature and layered wine of the evening. Lou, who tends to like older wines, also liked this wine. The nose has black raspberries, some earthiness and a bit of cranberries. Also a really nice graphite note. Its layered and very smooth. Silky tannins. Black raspberry fruit and the only wine with no jammy qualities. It was clearly an outlier. Jeff K said it is not a typical bottle. I liked it and it was my WOTN. No worries. (96 pts.)
- 2001 Torbreck Run Rig - Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley
Her is a wine that we could all agree on. Mine and the groups #2. Lots of black raspberries on the nose with a nice streak of minerality. Some black pepper. On the palate, sweet and delicious black raspberry pie filling. Medium tannins. Showing young with tight layering. Nice finish. (95 pts.)
Loren... I'm always surprised when I see such high scores from you for Aussie wines. Have you always liked them? As you know, they are not my style of wine.
I wouldnt drink them all the time, but once in a while they are very nice.
I really liked some excellent australian shiraz like :
Kilikanoon Clare Valley - "Attunga 1865" Shiraz 2005
Kilikanoon Mac Laren Vale - "Parable" Shiraz 2005
Mc Laren Vale - Shirvington – Shiraz 2002 (a great wine, tasted twice)
Kalleske Barossa Valley - "Johann Georg" Shiraz 2006
Ben Glaetzer Barossa Valley - "Anaperenna" Shiraz Cab.-Sauv. Unfiltered 2006
Torbreck Run Rig 1998
Furthermore, Sine Qua Non Midgnight Oil 2001 appeared to me twice as great wine too. More than nice ... excellent and able to compete with the best "Rhône Nord". Do you like it ?
Last edited by laurent gibet; 05-11-2012 at 04:53 AM.