Rutherglen, Victoria. 14%
Rutherglen occasionally produced outstanding dry red wines (in addition to the fortified muscats it is famous for). In the 60s and 70s there were wonderful wines such as Wynns Ovens Valley ‘Burgundy’ and Baileys ‘Hermitage’.
This wine however is not great. Mild fruit dominated a bit by added acid. It’s hard too say if age has really benefitted this wine, in some ways yes in others no. It has some yummy aged shiraz flavour but marred by some hard raspberry flavour due I think to the acid. There is also some oxidation. Don’t age it anymore.
Mornington Peninsula, Victoria. 14.9%
Varietal with appropriate acidity and the high alcohol doesn’t intrude but the flavour doesn’t stand up to food well.
Nagambie Lakes, Central Victoria. 13.5%
This serious Shiraz has a delicacy about it, I would have picked this as a Hunter wine before Victorian. It’s a long way from even the more restrained Barossa wines and it isn’t as dense as wines from Heathcote. Worth watching over the next decade.
Martinborough and Hawkes Bay, NZ. 13%
Too many winemakers extract too much from overripe grapes, and rely on oak and other manipulations to, hopefully, with age, give complexity. But all too often these wines gain nothing with age. Now I don’t expect this wine to gain much from aging, but the winemaker has created a lovely natural not particularly concentrated wine that drinks beautifully now. Complexity comes from a well handled blend, in this case 35% Syrah, 35% Cabernet and Cab Franc & 30% Merlot. It’s a bit peppery and green in a delicious luncheon claret style. A great wine to eat now.