As the end of the May draws nearer, so does Australia Wine Month. What better way to mark this occasion than with a big, Barossa Shiraz?
If Riesling is my favoured white varietal, then Shiraz is my preferred red. Due to an overall warmer climate, the Barossa Valley produces particularly ripe fruit that results in wines that are lush and full-bodied, while over a century of human expertise prevents them from being unbalanced.
So when I went browsing through my regular bottle shop, I had an idea of what I was looking for. Still, I kept my eyes open for something interesting, and when this wine’s label and unusual bottle shape caught my eye I asked for more information. When I heard this wine was a multi-vintage blend, I knew I had to try it.
- Clarity: Clear
- Intensity: Deep
- Colour: Purple
- Condition: Clean
- Intensity: Medium+
- Development: Youthful
- Sweetness: Dry
- Acidity: High
- Tannin: Medium
- Alcohol: Medium+
- Body: Medium+
- Flavor Intensity: Medium+
- Finish: Medium
- Quality: Very Good
- Readiness/Cellaring: Can drink now, potential to cellar
- Identity: Australia / Barossa Valley / Shiraz
- Price: Premium ($60)
- Extremely dense core that extends to the rim, creating only a thin purple ring
- Long, thin tears
- Aromas of ripe plums, juicy prunes, blackcurrants, smoke
- Flavours of juicy plums, blackcurrants, liquorice, cinnamon, vanilla
- Whole and lush on the palate
- Smooth, velvety tannins
- Finish just a bit short, forcing me to reach for another sip
- Interesting example of a multi-vintage blend that is well-constructed
- Serve with honey-glazed ham, braised cuts, chocolate
The idea of blending multiple vintages into a single wine isn’t new – this is a technique commonly employed by champagne and sparkling wine producers to create a consistent, house-style wine. Climate conditions will vary from year to year, and thus affect the quality of the grapes harvested – by blending juice from multiple vintages these differences become less pronounced.
While this is common in sparkling wines, this is the first time I’ve come across a still wine that used the same method. From a rational perspective I cannot argue against them doing so, as long as the quality of the wine wasn’t compromised. And from tasting this wine, I can confidently say that they have created something special.
While we should be aware of our own tastes and preferences, we must constantly move out of our comfort zones, or else risk becoming stubbornly set in our ways through ignorance. Be open to discovering new flavours, and never stop learning.
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