Moppity Shiraz 2009 (Hilltops, NSW)
13.9%, Screwcap, $28
It’s something of a personal conundrum this wine, if purely on the scoring front, but also in the context of personal objectivity.
Put simply, I don’t really like this Shiraz. By that I mean I can’t imagine actually drinking all that much of it and wouldn’t choose too. However – and here is where it gets a little blurry – I know plenty of people who would. That’s not a vague attempt at condescension, but just a straight admission of what I think about the style. It’s a style that I think has plenty of appeal, yet little appeal to me. The challenge, however, is how then to score and how to approach such a wine. Do you mark it down because you don’t like it, or mark it midway and appreciate the stylistic intent?
The thing I’m really trying to grasp is where objectivity ends and subjectivity begins. This whole wine reviewing caper is all about objectivity in premise, yet still utterly subjective in application, with all of our tasting impressions hinged on our own personal wine experiences. Those experiences and approaches can be shaped by others, but it’s still a case of a personal drinking context and personal taste.
Which brings me back to this wine. The problem that I have with it is that it is too polished. Too ripe and round and slippery, too glistening with new oak and fruit sweetness. Too much generosity, Viognier edged richness and not enough structure, Yet I can also see that, like vanilla icecream, sometimes rich, sweet and generous simple flavours are awesome, and that in it’s mode it’s a seriously well made wine, with really high quality fruit. It’s so generous and silky and giving that I think I’m in the minority by proclaiming that I don’t like it. I even sat on the bottle for 3 days to see if I would come around to it’s way of thinking, but in fact it just looked more oaky and sweetened the longer it was open.
In the end I’ve just realised that this wine is not for me, that I’m no fan of Shiraz Viogniers made in this way, and that I need to draw the line in the sand (my sand). The score below then is a low one considering the raw quality behind the wine itself, but the only score that I could say I honestly agree with. 16.3/87