|Rise McCulloch Shiraz|
14.5%, Screwcap, $45
Suitable for vegans but best drunk with a hug slab of meat. There, review over.
There is much more to this wine than that. Much. Sourced from the dry-grown McCulloch family vineyard in the Clare Valley, this was handpicked and had a full week-long soak before ferment began. Said ferment was 'open' and preceded 2 years in French oak. In other words, that is serious handling designed to get big flavours, maximum extraction and serious tannins, with everything then softened and enriched by the slow oxidation of oak ageing. The only question mark is whether the fruit was up to all that winemaking...
Well it certainly looks the part, a really inky deep, rich red colour. On the nose it's all deepset stewed plum and bitumen licoricey fruit sunk into the wine thanks to the long oak ageing, everything showing that savoury-yet-rich, flourless chocolate cake oak character too. Attractive, if slightly heavy and forward nose is super serious indeed. Is it fresh enough though? More than a dash of stewed fruit in there. Dark and very dense palate is rather drying and extractive, with no shortage of concentration but oh so drying, with long dried tannins and a hint of dessicated fruit.
The question remains - is this a little too much extraction and not enough fruit? Perhaps, but no questioning the seriousness of the style. 17.6/92+