Westlake Vineyards Shiraz Trio
So here it is. Those wines (best to have a read of this first). Now that I know that all three of these reds have mid 90’s Halliday scores I figure that they are all fair game. The only thing I worry about now is that my own prejudice might be driving the scores down.
Judge for yourself.
Westlake Vineyards Albert’s Block Shiraz 2007 (Barossa Valley, SA)
$28, (Good looking) Cork, 14.5%
18 months in a combination of French and American oak. Unfined and unfiltered. 200 dozen produced.
Curious nose on this wine. It’s all bacon fat, scorched berries and liqueur cherries, sitting just a bit oddly, if quite sweetly and unquestionably ripe. Palate too is very ripe. Very ripe. In fact once you get past the sweetly oaked middle, it’s just alcohol, the finish just warmth, sweetly oaked warmth.
Already drying out, this is a carcass of a wine, wanting for more flesh. 14.5/81
717 Convicts ‘ The Warden’ Shiraz 2006 (Barossa Valley, SA)
$45, Cork, 15.5%
Produced as a tribute to the original Westlake (Edward) whom was one of the original 717 convicts that came with the first fleet.
Massively ripe nose. It’s a nose that is absolutely baked, skinny and lacking in flesh. Thankfully the palate is richer, rounder, with more flavour to fill in the bits where there isn’t alcohol. It still feels like it’s been left out for a couple of days too long, the sweet fruit hobbled by oak tannins, the booze further hobbling the freshness. Though at least this one has a finish. No. 15.5/85
Westlake Vineyards Eleazar Shiraz 2006 (Barossa Valley, SA)
$55, (Another long and attractive) Cork, 15.5%
Eleazar is Hebrew for ‘God has helped’. God may need to help pick up this bottle given how hefty it is. 65 cases produced.
Sweetly oaked nose. Lots of curranty sweetness and dusty oak. A bit of American oak in this. Still can’t shake the volatile wafting out of the glass though. The palate is again sweet, generous and oaky, with oaky meaty edges in amongst the sweet bubblegum fruit. It’s generous, plump and rounded, with no shortage of impact. Ultimately though the alcohol is just sitting there waiting to fuck things up. Once the berry fruit quietens down, along comes the booze, sucking the life out of the fruit, though not to the same extent as the wine above. Hard alcohol. Some good bits though and it’s longer. Just not fresh or long enough to counter the deadness. 16/86
(all three were sample bottles).