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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Craggy Range Le Sol shiraz 2007

90+ points

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.

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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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McWilliams Mount Pleasant O.P & O.H. Hermitage 1967

89 points

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?

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