13.2%, Screwcap, $55
Vintage variation: It's a topic that is often viewed negatively within Australia, largely because we've seen a few dramatically challenging years in recent history (2 record heatwaves and a record wet year) that have yielded some truly wild swings in wine quality.
Yet, when vintage contrasts are not quite as severe, I think that a little bit of annual variety just serves to make wine more interesting and more wonderful
It is because of such contrasts that I really like this wine actually, particularly when placed in the context of the two, rather different wines before it. Admittedly not everyone is going to like this spicy, herbal and structured red as much as the 2008 or 2009 vintage iterations before it, but I must admit to rather enjoying this more because of those differences.
What sets this apart is just how 'cool' a cool climate Shiraz it is. Wood smoke, stems, black pepper and spice over Shiraz red fruit, all edged with sweet vanilla oak. The palate too is anything but ripe, with bony, spicy black fruit turning spicy, slightly bitter and drying towards the high acid finish, oak sweetness helping to soften the edges.
A much leaner wine this year but not unripe, I think it may be just a little hard for big love but I can't help but appreciate the sinewy, herbal and dark smoky intrigue on offer. Like to see this again in 5yrs time too. 17.7/92+