Tyrrell’s Wines Vat 9 shiraz 1997

92 points

Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia. 12.8%

One bottle was partially oxidised. This review is of the 2nd. Both had crumbly corks but the better bottle had better fill.

Warm, deep red flavours, quite a lot of fruit sweetness. Smooth and rich but not cloying. Food friendly.

A bit more spice, even a touch of greeness would have really made thus wine. But then I can hardly accuse them of picking too ripe at a mere 12.8%. Fascinating wine.

Might have lived another decade under screwcap.

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Sandalford estate reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

88 points

Margaret River, Western Australia. 14.5%

This is a very good wine but I’m marking it down a few points because it’s just a bit to showy. The oak is obtrusive, dry and a bit raspy. And the alcohol is too high. I know it is young but I have major doubts that this will properly knit together, at least into something fine.

So breathe the wine now and enjoy it young as a showy wine. Nice flavours even if it lacks mid palate density.

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Shaw + Smith Adelaide Hills Shiraz 2010

90+ points

Adelaide Hills, South Australia. 14%

Gosh. This is so like a Northern Rhone, a Cote-Rotie, without the sinew or tannin of a Hermitage. Quite beautiful and floral.

I’m not good at judging young cool climate shiraz. In fact I don’t usually like it while it has this flush of youthful, floral fruit. But this is good after a good breathing.

Worth watching over the next decade or so.

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