|Taltarni Reserve Shiraz Cabernet|
Worth holding on too
14.1%, Cork, $65
If you've got a spare 6 and half odd minutes then head over to the Taltarni Youtube channel and check out a little video that accompanies this wine. No worries if you need those extra 6 minutes in your day, but it is rather well shot and thoroughly professional (if deadly serious), which suits this old school, Francophile stylin' wine perfectly. What it doesn't help with however is just how backward the wine is - it's a 'come back later' prospect, in classic Taltarni fashion.
A blend of 86% Pyrenees and 14% Heathcote fruit, this 72/40 Shiraz Cabernet was fermented in a range of fermenters before being basket pressed and then transferred to new French oak, where it spent the next 20 months. Interestingly the winemakers notes suggest it can be cellared for up to ten years, which looks conservative at the least...
It certainly smells Taltanian, carrying a minty, slightly stewed, plum liqueur fruits with some dried, cedary wood characters (much like the 95 Cab actually) nose in the extractive, dry and very serious style. It's not dried out however and still carries a depth of fruit beyond that burliness. Still, compared to the atypical Australian Shiraz Cab style it smells positively prehistoric. Tastes it too, with a length of dry, blackberry fruit then vanilla bean oak flavours leading to some seriously hardcore desiccating tannins. The sort of tannins that linger and linger, sticking to your teeth like they've been sandblasted. Still, and it sounds odd, there is a freshness here, a suggestion that the fruit is there to back up the walls of oak and tannin.
The longer I left this wine the more I like it. It's unashamedly old school and definitely not for everyone but, when put in the context of those older Taltarni reds (like these ones), is a intriguing old Australian dry red of serious capacity (think Wendouree pre-2004 and you're in the mode). All it needs is a very long sleep somewhere dark. Buy some for your kids 21st. 18/93+