2008 Thorpe Wines Shiraz
The grapes for this wine were picked before the heat wave of that year – this was important as so many of the 2008 reds have a stewed fruit character caused by the heat wave’s effects on the grapes. The aromas were the usual plum and berry character plus the same iodine background that I found in the Cabernet from the same vintage. The flavors hit me with citrus notes combined with plums plus the spice character of nutmeg and star anise (not the normally associated pepper flavors of Shiraz). The finish was savory but not overly tannic (the wine spent 1 year on 2 year old oak). There was an overall delicious factor that stuck me as definitely providing value. When tasting this wine I thought of charred (BBQ) meats – maybe a good burger with lots of onion, cheese, lettuce, tomato and beetroot smothered in tomato sauce.
2008 Pieri Occasione
Made the classical Ripasso style and from Shiraz grapes. This wine creates difference by taking the red wine from last year’s vintage and pass it through this years skins after they have been pressed – and what a difference it makes! The wine was aged in older French & American oak so oak is not a dominate factor. The aromas showed strength of plums and currents. The strength of the fruit was not expected – particularly as these aromas were not jammy. The flavors were an interesting contrast of some bitterness (from the skins), sweetness and drying tannins. The fruit flavors are in line with the aromas, so the Shiraz-ness is true. Drink it with just about anything but just drink it to try wine of this style.
2006 Petanga Wines Dio
A Grenache (70%), Shiraz (30%) and Mourvedre (10%) blend and what another joy. Dio means God – there is nothing more behind this name that it is the sister wine to Diavolo, which means Devil. Here we have the musk lolly smell, with more obvious red fruits (red currents) and the familiar fennel linger on the back of the nose. This is a big wine but has a silky finish that includes a real floral and perfume plus an almost meaty element which comes from the Mourvedre. Make sure you decant the wine and let it breathe – it will be worth the effort. Talk about expression of of the vineyard and the sense of place, this wine is just sensational now and will only get better over the next 10 years (if it lasts that long). This wine screams food, so don’t let it down and have it with a beef stir fry that has some Chinese five spice that will go so well with the fennel notes of the wine.
2006 Danshi Rise Shiraz
Just essence of McLaren Vale Shiraz here – all the plum, licorice and just a little chocolate. The mid palate that McLaren Vale red wines are famous for is shown so well here. Added to this is a sense of place – the minerallity of the soil mixes well with the strength of the fruit and the grainy tannins. The tannins are interesting as there are lots of them but they just meld so well together with the weight of the fruit. This is a wine that is all round complexity and even though it could be drunk now would continue to get better over the next 5+ years. Slap a thick juicy T-bone steak in front of me with this wine and get out of may as this would be devouring time!
2006 Pikkara Shiraz
Pikkara is a small wine label from a 5th generation McMurtrie family growers and Nat has decided to make some wine with the help of the guys at Redhead Studios. The aromas start with lovely cedary notes from the French oak combined with the classical plum one expects from McLaren Vale Shiraz. As the wine breathes the obvious oak blows away and the silky smooth plum tends to dominate. The flavours show the savory characters of all that is classical about McLaren Vale Shiraz with the chocolate plums enveloped in lovely fine tannins. As the wine opened up I found some cherry character also coming through. The best way to understand this wine’s underlying strength is that at no time during the tasting did I pick up on the 15% alcohol! Drink over the next 5 years and enjoy it with that has been slow cooked with garlic and rosemary.
2009 La Curio The Nubile Grenache Shiraz
As soon as I poured this wine I knew it was going to be interesting. The wine was quite light and a dark pink colour. The aromas just jumped out of the glass as soon as this pouring occurred. Lots of raspberries and cherries combined with just a hint of cedar oak – no oak monster here! The flavors were all about easy drinking with lovely raspberries wrapped around silky smooth tannins. the 30% Shiraz component added some plum strength on the finish of the wine which just allowed the whole experience to stay in your mouth for quite a while. This easy drinking red wine can be consumed in almost all occasions, and why not when the quality is this good. Forget this wine if you are just looking for the strength of a Shiraz but for drinkability count me in – especially if there is a Chinese banquet ready to be consumed also.