Chapel Hill Shiraz 2009 (McLaren Vale, SA)
14.5%, Screwcap, $30
A tricky vintage for this style of Vale Shiraz, with many a wine showing a porty, dried fruit edge. Said wines are generally fresher than the 2008s, but cast bigger, more drying and somewhat less fresh. That’s a generalisation, like all vintage assessments, but a consistent one (in my opinion).
This suitably smells big and tarry with bitumen and a hint of raspberry liquer. Dry port hints too. Lots of quite purple fruit in there too but just a fraction porty. Nice vanilla oak rescues the palate but no hiding the bitterness of scorched fruit. Firm and gruff tannins but looks just a little hard edged. There is some caramelised rich fruit through the middle but can’t escape the bitterness of the finish.
Many will like the depth on offer here – and it’s well made – but I just can’t escape the sense of desiccated fruit. 16.3/87