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.
Barossa Valley, South Australia. 14%
Not as exciting as the 2006 by a long shot. Warm bordering on over-ripe fruit balanced by hefty added acid.
Craggy Range, Hawkes Bay, NZ. 14%
Quite a sophisticated show pony. Well judged expensive oak frames silky cool climate shiraz. It’s good.
I just fear that it seems to lack character. Perhaps with age?
And I find the price a bit disconcerting. This is exciting cool climate shiraz but it has a number of Australian competitors now. It stands out for sophistication but some of its competitors have pedigree, distinctiveness, regional character and/or price advantages.
South Australia. 13.5%
This is a pretty lovely Grange. Signature flavours.
It’s quite restrained although still an oaky warm climate wine. Complex characterful with lots of life in it. Drink now or over next decade.
Coonawarra, South Australia. 12.5%
The alcohol level may be modest but this is a robust red. And there is obvious, though well handled, added acidity – so this wasn’t picked early.
It’s in that oaky Penfolds sort of style.
Shiraz Cabernet can be a delicious blend, as this wine shows. More should be made.
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.
Hunter Valley, Australia. Unknown alcohol level probably 13% or lower.
Yes a real mueseum wine with fabulous old label. Fill level was down to just below top shoulder, not alarming for a wine of 46 years.
From “the old paddock” and “the old hill”.
Quite good darkish colour.
Clear nose, very old.
Possibly the most savoury dry wine I’ve ever had. All fruit sweetness has dried up. Surprisingly there seems to be some lingering oak flavour. With food this was quite good. Nice weight. Interesting aged flavours. The next bottle which has better fill might even be better?
St. Chinian-Roquebrun. 14%
Fresh, inky, fruity spicy Languedoc. Good stuff. Almost too unctuous for me, but a bit more time will calm it down and introduce more savoury tones. Great value. Exactly the sort of wine people hope to find in their supermarket or local cafe but seldom do.
Cornas, North Rhone. 13.5%
Some nice fresh cool fruit without being peppery or stalky. Clean and clear, but not particularly exciting. Lacks flavour concentration. There are more exciting cool climate shiraz in Australia.
Hunter Valley, NSW. 14%. Screwcap
I’m disappointed, this wine hasn’t developed as well as I hoped. Or perhaps simply isn’t as good as I once thought.
There are some interesting leather tones but the main impression is overly ripe grapes rather than regional character. Lacks the finesse, acid of great Hunter shiraz.
Adelaide Hills, South Australia. 14.5%
Very young. Dark. Sweet. Ripe vintage in SA.
Cosmetic floral honeysuckle flavour tones – I’m really not sure why people add Viognier to Aussie shiraz. Perhaps there is just too much here. Perhaps it needs 10 years in bottle.
Margaret River, WA. 14.5%
One of Australia’s great shiraz. Distinctive style, a sort of North South Rhone mix. Opulent yet fresh.
For a good while I though the 99 superior to the 2001 but now I think this has not only improved but now surpassed the 99.
I very much anticipate the 2007+ vintages which were superb. They just need 12 years or so in bottle, if you can resist enjoying them earlier.
Margaux, Bordeaux. 12.5%
Many bottles from this case have been disappointing. A good but rather plain, obviously Merlot oriented wine. Out of company with other left-bank 96s.
But now at 17 years old it is starting to blossom. Rich but now with savoury and green hints, making a very attractive wine.
For a 2nd wine showing this sort of longevity is a surprise to me. I wrote this wine off too early. Very pleased to be found wrong.
Rhone, France. 13%
This is fine wine, effortlessly balanced. Very impressive winemaking and viticulture. This is natural, low intervention wine.
Distinctly cool climate floral notes though this is ripe, medium bodied fruit.
Very young. It will always be an elegant wine. Needs another 5 years and may last decades after that, power and extract aren’t needed for longevity.
Frankland, Western Australia. 12.5%
There is a French saying that there are no great wines just great bottles. If the cork gods are smiling, if the mood is right, if you open the wine at just the right age…
Other bottles of this wine were interesting. A distinctly cool climate wine with plenty of acid, low alcohol.
This bottle, my last (of course) was superb. Like a great Northern Rhone the aroma was beguiling and the taste savoury, complex, refreshing.
From 30+ year old vines, 18 months in new French oak.
Hunter Valley, NSW. 13.5%
Bright shiny intense wine. With great cool but ripe flavour. So young. Great potential to turn into a complex, savoury, not heavy classic wine.
Northern Rhone, France. 12.5%
Good wine. Distinctly Northern Rhone. Just less intensely flavoured and exciting than I had hoped given the price nd the vintage.
Barossa Valley, South Australia. 14.5%
Terribly young but cool fruit aromas. Impressive. Shows great promise. Quite savoury.
Great Western, Victoria. 14.1%
A Victorian Grange style. Personally I’d have preferred a little less oak, extraction, tannin, acid. But it’s a favoursome, powerful, stylish package.
Compared to the Penfold’s Barossa wine this shows its difference in terroir (and French oak). Tighter, cooler shiraz flavour.
Heathcote, Victoria. 13.5%
Very impressive wine. Not over blown like some Heathcote wines, restrained alcohol and extraction.
For me this is quintessential flavour of shiraz. Not baked warm climate and no flowery cool climate distractions. Just pure essence of shiraz.
Moderate concentration. I’m not entirely sure how long to age it. Should drink well for 10 more years.
Crozes-Hermitage, France. 13%
From Maxime Graillot, son of Alan, famous Crozes-Hermitage producer. This vintage is quite a confronting wine. It’s not green but it reeks of stalky floral flavour. And black pepper.
It’s been near impossible to drink until now when it’s starting to calm down and put on some flesh. I find it hard to believe this wine will ever be more than characterful, but I’m optimistic.
Interesting to give to someone used to warm climate shiraz. I don’t think they would ever guess it is the same grape.
Clare Valley, South Australia. 13.6%
Whoa. There is still obvious, very fine, new oak. Still fresh with youthful acidity.
Fine fruit, not cool climate but far from heavy or sweet.
Strange wine in that some elements are built for the very long term, but also a touch of aged oxidation.
That’s why some bottles of Wendouree are sublime and others so so. Thank goodness they are using screwcap now because corks just aren’t up to wines with this longevity.
Margaret River, WA. 14%
I’m surprised how typical Aussie shiraz this tastes. The added acidity is quite prominent. It’s a firm ripe dense wine. Lacks Margaret River typicity. Later vintages are better I feel.
Adelaide Hills (58%) McLaren Vale (21%) Langhorne Creek (21%). 14.5%
Apart from the oak, which is a touch over-the-top the fruit, acid, alcohol balance is nice. A flavoursome wine.
Barossa Valley, South Australia. 13.5%
FDR1A stands for “fine dry red” a Cabernet Shiraz blend aged in French, Hungarian and American oak. I’m not sure what the point of this wine in Yalumba’s portfolio when they already have The Signature cab/shiraz blend which is supposed to be “the finest red of the vintage”.
Anyway this isn’t a patch on the 2006 Signature. The fruit doesn’t sing in anything like the same way.
Heavily oaky dense, old fashioned wine.
Barossa Valley, South Australia. 14.5% screwcap
Dark youthful. Languedoc like in flavour, but weightier more supple. Yet not particularly exciting.
Certainly not Northern Rhone. Nor great Barossa.
Grampians, Victoria. 12.5% screwcap
Surprisingly this seems more developed than the 2002. And the 2002 was under cork. This seems a more traditional, less complex vintage. Good flavour. Enjoy now or over the next 10 years.
Great Western, Victoria. 13%
Prematurely aged. Astonishing to think this is only 2 years older than the 2002. Cork probably is partly to blame, also the vintage.
Funky flavoursome wine. Volatile acidity gives it quite a lift. Tonnes of character, not all pleasant but complex and great sweet core of fruit. DRINK NOW.
Yarra Valley, Victoria. 12.5%
It’s very interesting to taste such cool climate shiraz from Oz. Love the low alcohol.
That said, it’s like a basic Crozes Hermitage. Luncheon shiraz.
Grampians, Victoria, Australia. 14%
Wow, the 1998 is excellent but this is even more exciting.
Highly aromatic, still youthful. Spicey floral aromas mingle with oak. Still large primary aromas. Great potential.
The palate is intruiging, very complex, not forceful or weighty I think this fine wine’s charms could be missed in the wrong setting. The balance makes it exceptionally easy drinking though it is still youthful. The last glass is better than the first – seemed like a half bottle said my wife, a sure sign of a fine well balanced wine.
Would love to try this against Turkey Flat Shiraz 2002 ie Barossa and therefore much warmer weightier but also a french oaked wine of restraint.
I wish this wine was screwcap not cork, and there was more available to buy.