Thomas Wines range
I've talked before about Andrew Thomas' wines and I always look forward to catching up with Thommo himself to find out what's really been happening in the Hunter. No such luck on this occasion, but a taste of several of his new releases was a treat in itself.
The following wines were all sampled at a tasting held at North Sydney Cellars, which is one of my 'locals' (of sorts) and a liquor store well worth a visit if you are in the North Sydney area.
Thomas 'Braemore' Museum Release Semillon 2004 (Hunter Valley, NSW) $45
In the last 18 months this has put on weight and becoming even more convincing. Good form. On the nose it shows overtones of toast alongside green apple and lemon fruit, showing both youthful and maturing Hunter Semillon characters in a fashion I very much like. Palate is bone dry, long and precise with green fruit and just a twinkle of bottle aged weight. Lovely Semillon and an excellent wine. Will live for bloody ages too. 18.5/94+
Thomas Two of a Kind Shiraz 2008 (McLaren Vale, SA 56% and Hunter Valley, NSW 44%) $25
Warm and chocolatey style with dominant French oak. Lavish and lovely French oak, but absolutely dominated by it at present. Palate is polished and flattering but just a fraction short. Should get better with more bottle age. 17.1/90+
Thomas DJV Shiraz 2007 (Hunter Valley, NSW) $30
Contains 9% Semillon
A Hunter Shiraz Semillon! Now there is an idea! Why mix half arsed, barely suitable young vine Viognier with beautiful old vine Hunter Shiraz when you can use properly acidic early picked Semillon instead!
Apparently several old hands in the Hunter commonly use early picked whites (Tyrrell's use Trebbiano) as a sort of natural acidification tool, which just sounds like practicality at its best.
In this instance the finished wine is a curious one. Plum jam Shiraz nose with a gloss of older oak and a hint of herbs, built ripe but very much in a restrained fashion. It might be the power of suggestion, but I did note a twist of citrus and green apple on the nose too - would be interested to hear if others have picked this up (no suggestion here from Julian or here from Campbell).
Palate wise it's very much a medium bodied, mid weight and elegant wine with red dirt, red fruit, a hint of old oak and mandarin acidity. Long, feline and very polished, it's actually quite hard to pin down, for it is quite different, but I rather like the form and the shape here. I could imagine drinking this very easily and it's structure suggests age will be very kind. Extra marks for interest. 18/93+
Thomas Kiss Shiraz 2007 (Hunter Valley, NSW) $65
A beast of a wine. Hugely rich and powerful nose of big vanillan & formic oak and lifted red fruit, with some Hunter rare sirloin in there too. Intensely oaky, powerful and rich, but not sweet, palate full of chocolate, cola and briar. Sour and very dry end with lots of acid. Brutal concentration, heaps of oak and a firm structure, it's actually too big and powerful to drink right now. But patience will be well rewarded. Very long termer. Buy some and stick it in the deeper, darker parts of your cellar. 17.4/91++
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