Fox Creek Reserve Shiraz 2006 (Mclaren Vale, SA)
$70, Screwcap, 14.5%
This comes in a very tall vodka style bottle, which looks both overly large and imposing, all at once. I do like the mass of it, but in these enviro conscious, how-much-does-your-bottle-weigh? times it’s probably excessive. Few people are really going to care though, for the wine itself sits in a price bracket & style that caters for a bit of excess and impact.
The colour is suitably befitting: It’s deep, dark, reddish/black/blood red, looking broody and extracted & ripe and, well, reserve wine-ish in its density. On the nose, its all sweet oak and sweet fruit. Lots of oak & lots of fruit, yet without volatility, just sweetness and ripeness. It’s hard to get past the oak at first, but its of the clever, very high quality french oak that ripe wines like this absorb quite easily.
There is just a hint of dead fruit in amongst the cocoa, formic and blackcurrant liqeuer aromatics though, but where that goes remains to be seen.
It does smell inviting then, if bluntly oaky and very modern in style.
Palate wise, its a long and treacly flow of smooth, mega ripe fruit, with no sharp edges, just heaps of oak melted into the ripe fruit, like butter into a slice of warm chocolate cake. Actually, chocolatey and very rich is the best way to describe the palate, with ‘decadent’ another goodun. Tannins are really not a big part of a wine like this, though they are there, along with the obligatory (added) acidity. This wine isn’t about structure though, its about intensity.
At this stage, the Fox Creek Reserve Shiraz is very oaky and young, but its also unashamedly Fox Creekish. The fruit is leaning toward overripe, though fresher than the 05 vintage, with just oodles of everything. It’s a wine of richness and density and weight and power, built in a style that exploits warm Mclaren Vale sunshine to produce mega ripe wines that most big red lovers will love. Personally, I find this too ripe, too oaky and quite a hard drink, hence why I don’t have anything like this in my cellar. But from a drinking point of view, I understand exactly what the appeal is, and even who it appeals too, and if I take off my technical wankers hat for a second, its actually really good in its style, and certainly much more appealing than the 05. It’s just that its not my style of wine. 17.2