Wolf Blass Grey Label shiraz 2002 (review)

90 points

Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, McLaren Vale. 15%

I previously reviewed the Wolf Blass Gold Label 2002 shiraz which I wasn’t too enamoured by. I felt the fruit was simply too commercial and nice winemaking couldn’t make up for this. Then I heard about this grey label wine, and its incredible show success, and price $29. But surely gold label would be a more premium wine than grey label ? Apparently not (ask the Wolf Blass marketing dept to explain).

This is a sleek, soft, sexy, supple wine. An interesting fruit driven, low tannin, blend from the heartland of South Australian shiraz (Barossa, Clare and McLaren Vale). Exotic aromas, complex (American and French) oak and not overdone. It carries its 15% alcohol effortlessly, and drinks well without food – which must in part explain its success in wine shows (see below).

Even without this wine show success I would describe it as a sophisticated show pony wine, the lovely balance and fruit clarity is both enjoyable and a tad boring; I wonder if it has the character and backbone to age into something great, but the price and stelvin screwcap enclosure make it an attractive gamble. I’m going to buy a few more bottles (quickly before it disappears from retail shelves).

James Halliday gave it 94 points. I’m not so impressed the pristine modern winemaketing style (what I call white wine makers’ red wine making).

The show record:

Wine Press Club Trophy Best Shiraz in Show – 2004 Royal Adelaide Wine Show

Max Schubert Trophy Best Red Wine in Show – 2004 Royal Adelaide Wine Show

The Winery Supplies Trophy for the Best Shiraz – 2005 Royal Melbourne Wine Show

Top Gold Medal – 2004 Royal Adelaide Wine Show

Gold Medal – 2003 Royal Queensland Wine Show
Gold Medal – 2005 Royal Melbourne Wine Show
Gold Medal – 2004 Royal Hobart Wine Show
Gold Medal – 2004 Royal Sydney Wine Show

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