|Penfolds Magill Estate Shiraz 2004|
$75ish, Cork, 13.8%
I quite like Magill Estate (the wine that is). It's always (or at least over the last 15 years) been something of a moderate wine for Penfolds, built in a fashion that is actually quite restrained - all things considered. I mean, it's oaky, that's a given, and it has plenty of Penfolds® brand tannin in there, but it does taste like a wine from a place, which you'd be hard pressed to say that about anything else in the Penfolds range (unless that place is 'South Australia').
I doubly thought I'd like this wine too, simply because it's a 2004 Penfolds 'Icon & Luxury Range' Shiraz, which means that it carries plenty of DNA from the positively sublime 2004 Penfolds Grange and 2004 St Henri, both of which I liked muchly.
Two big ticks then. And two big ticks turns into high fives with the wine itself. It's a cracker. A humdinger. The shizzle. Whatever you call it, it's real South Australian Shiraz, built proper like, but also built with care, set in a style that is really quite 'medium' (and all the better for it) though unmistakeably Penfoldian in it's styling.
That stylin' is obvious just by holding your glass up to the light. It looks Penfoldian. It looks like Shiraz with a capital S. Smells it too, with a nose that's seen the inside of an American oak barrel and come out with the coconut sweetness to prove it. But it doesn't smell oaky either. Just, well, Penfoldian. Regally, proudly Penfoldian. Draped in the Penfolds flag perhaps (excuse the Australia day hangover). What it does smell like is rich and plummy Shiraz, in the most classic Australian sense.
Beyond the nose, beyond the 'statement' nose and it's actually a bit wound up in that oak, the oak particulary noticeable after a quick foray back into the Vat 1. Still it looks quite balanced. Balanced in an Australian Shiraz sense, with a plushness of texture, a very dry palate, firmish tannins and a twang of acidity to finish, all of which adds up to an Aussie red wine drinkers wet dream.
Is is my wet dream? No, but certainly a benchmark wine which other Shiraz is measured by. A benchmark wine that is satisfyingly modest (all things considered) savoury and regional enough in many ways, whilst at the same time being unmistakeably brash and overt on occasion. A benchmark wine that I was sad to see empty. 18.5/94