Saturday, 11 August 2012

Thomas Wines Kiss Shiraz 2010

Kiss Shiraz.
Imagine it with a screwcap though
Thomas Wines Kiss Shiraz 2010 (Hunter Valley, NSW)
13.5%, Screwcap, $60
Source: Sample
www.thomaswines.com.au

I wasn't quite convinced about this 2010 Kiss Shiraz when it was first opened. It looked lighter, flatter and less well-formed than is the usual Kiss style. Being a thorough sort of wine taster I still put it back into the fridge to see what would happen. 12 hours later and the same wine looked richer, fuller and much more kissable (of sorts) and I was half convinced. Finally, at a Sydney Swans (AFL) game a month or so back, I had this served to me unknowingly by Andrew Thomas himself. It was poured from a thermos into a plastic beer glass (that may have contained a little leftover VB. That's all us wine writers can afford you see. Cheap beer.) yet I still sat there thinking 'what is this? A lovely rich Hunter Shiraz this one'. I actually thought it would be the 2011 Kiss, such was the brightness and life. Turns out I was wrong (in a good way).

It's a plush wine this vintage, a purple wine, with purple blackberry and mulberry fruits and sweet chocolate oak. There is just a hint of confection in there too, a slight caramelised edge that comes from what was a stop-start, hot then wet vintage. Regardless it's an exuberant smelling wine, with a barrel sample freshness that is undoubtedly attractive.

That rich blackberry brightness carries through the palate too, the oak bright and comely. The acidity though keeps all that width in check, the wine thus tasting rich but not sweet in that combination that Thommo's wines carry off so well. I think it's a fraction leaner through the finish than the best vintages, the tannins a little greener too. Still, at its core this is a top shelf Hunter Shiraz that will only get better with bottle age. 18.3/93

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