It’s another deathmatch, and this time we are going super premium Shiraz style, with some new vintages of some rather renowned wines up against each other in a four way bout for glory.
The following four – quite divergent – Shiraz were tasted over the course of a night, though in truth all of them need more time in the bottle to show what they really have to offer.
Wine 1: Warramate White Label Yarra Valley Shiraz 2008
40yr old+ plantings in the Gruyere area of the Yarra Valley. Dry grown, ideally situated next door to Coldstream Hills at the base of the hill.
I quite like the charismatic Warramate wines, and particularly the Shiraz, though it can suffer from some vintage variation. Definitely lighter this year but I think it will end up being one very long lived wine.
Light ruby coloured. Pinot coloured. Nose of cranberry, glacé cherry and smoky overtones. Subdued and feline nose, though crystal clear flavours. Light bodied, all cherries and spice with elegant, almost pretty fruit. Licoricey mid palate. Crisp acid through the finish, if just a tad watery. Nice dry tannins.
Too elegant? Perhaps, but I think this will only blossom with bottle age. 17.2/90+
Wine 2 – Brokenwood Graveyard Hunter Valley Shiraz 2007
Very Hunter and divisively so. I’m not convinced this is the best vintage of Graveyard, but there is a certain youthful gawkiness that covers what could be an impressive wine in the longer run. Really important plus signs.
Leather. New Leather. Wet dirt. Chook poo. Hunter. Reductive. Infant palate. Awkward acid. Beginnings of Hunter stink all through the palate. Surprising lack of cut through the finish. At the moment it doesn’t taste anything like a $140 wine, but it will get better. Based on this bottle, at this point in time, the score is conservative. 16.7/89+
(Interesting to note I liked this fractionally more back in February. Divisive wine!)
Wine 3 – Yalumba Single Site Eden Valley Shiraz 2006
No questions about the quality here. Solid old vine Eden Shiraz drinking delightfully. Yum.
Red fruit and just a hint of the barnyard on the nose. Straw. Clean palate starts with red fruit and then gets richer, blacker and firmer as it goes along, fanning out into truffles and roasted meat. Complexity plus! Lots of flavour and interest here, finishing chewy and firm. Distinctive, enjoyable wine. 18.5/94
(Also tasted this back in February. A longer sitting had me liking this even more).
Wine 4 – Peter Lehmann Eight Songs Shiraz 2005
Suffered by following the last wine. The only thing that I don’t like here is the alcohol heat through the finish. Good wine regardless.
Dense, rich, oaky and very full Barossan red. Chocolate and cocoa powder. Roasted red fruits. Maybe a tad overripe, with just a smidgen of meaty, figgy overripeness. Can’t fault the chewy generosity of the palate though, which is typical Eight Songs and unquestionably attractive. Alcohol heat through the finish not so.
Good, if not quite the best vintage for this wine. 17.5/91