Another day, another (very tenuous) theme.
S.C. Pannell Shiraz 2004
Sourced from old Mclaren Vale Shiraz vines, this is South Australian Shiraz in a quite modern mould, yet with more structure and less immediacy than some of its compatriots. I’m a big fan of all of Steve’s wines, they are so intelligently made and interesting.
Dark red and quite dense in colour this shows a rich, chocolatey red fruit nose, with some undertones of vanillan oak & some spicy leathery highlights. The palate was initially quite tannic & dry, before opening up to show typically plush Mclaren Vale characters. Steve himself describes this wine as having a ‘ferruginous’ note thanks to the high iron content in the soil and I like that as a descriptor – dusty, loamy, chocolatey and distinctive. It still in somewhat of a transitional stage though and wasn’t completely convincing – it needs a few more years for that. Good stuff however. 17.7+
Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay 2004
I quite like this vintage of the old Art Series Chard – it has already come together quite nicely, unlike the fairly massive vintages on either side.
Bright golden yellow in colour, this is unmistakeably LEAS Chardy from the first whiff. Its a rich, fresh toast & custard (oak, fruit and yeast interaction) meets grapefruit (fruit character) meets vanilla oak character that I reckon all comes from the famous Leeuwin ‘Block 20’.
I went to a multi year vertical with Bob Cartwright a couple of years back where he showed us some of the components of the LEAS Chardonnay. It became obvious that this block is the heart soul of the wine – its like a little Montrachet in Margaret River, with such distinctive characters that just make this wine the high flyer that it is.
Anyway, I digress. The palate itself is arguably heavy handed on the oak, but there is no arguing with the full bore, rich Chardonnay fruit. The palate profile is initially oaky, rich & full, before the palate becomes leaner, grapefruity and acid driven, with the whole package feeling perfectly ripe and polished. Its a lovely drink now, but with time it will become even more complete and that oak should further integrate. 18.5+