|One of the 2010 De Bortoli reds in the
glass. Great colour.
De Bortoli Syrah 2010 (and more De Borts musings)
When I’m not writing about wine, competing in ridiculous endurance sports and touring wine regions I like to spend my weekends doing something completely different. Like touring wine regions…
Which is why I found myself in Victoria’s Yarra Valley on Sunday. More particularly, the main focus of the day was a visit to the Yarra Valley outpost of family wine powerhouse De Bortoli, an outpost that I’ve surprisingly never visited (which is rather odd considering I’ve spent a little bit of time in the Yarra).
This wine – the 2010 Estate Syrah – was one of the highlights of the visit too, a wine that typifies the glories that the 2010 Yarra vintage has to offer (for reds at least). Actually, most of the 2010 De Bortoli estate wines are gooduns’ actually, the Pinot Noirs in particular carrying a rare juice/tannin balance that is so very appealing indeed.
It’s not just confined to the Yarra either, with the 2010 Riorret Merricks Pinot Noir also looking as slinky and plain sexy as it ever would, a wine that should only ever be drunk whilst in bed (and hopefully off a beautiful person’s body).
Of course it’s not all perfect lines and happy times though, with some of the 2011 Yarra wines looking positively anaemic, particularly when placed in the context of the 2010 wines surrounding it. The better whites do show a sprightly character that is still rather appealing, but it is very much a case-by-case basis (and the reds are variable indeed).
But back to this 2010 Estate Syrah.
My single greatest issue with Yarra Shiraz/Syrah historically has been all about ripeness, with too many Yarra wines struggling to resolve acidity and flesh, the wines seeming to waver between unripe and underfleshed or overripe and barely recognisable as Yarra sourced.
What impresses me most about this wine then is simply how right it is, how that tightrope walk of pepper and spice vs meaty plum fruit richness is carried off. Structure too is spot on, the 50% whole bunches giving a firmness and tannic punch that carries everything forward.
That whole bunch character is evident on first whiff actually, contributing to the black/white pepper spiciness of the nose, coupling nicely with the prosciutto and macerated plum fruit characters. It’s a ripe nose, but a contained one, stemmy and grainy and a little closed but properly ripe too – a confident and appealing and correct nose.
The palate too carries a certain whole bunch pepper and twigs character though set in a firm and perfumed cranberry and beef roast frame. There’s a great balance between firm, stem tannin dryness and richer fruit that really makes this wine, contributing to the sold, grainy and well built style that shows plenty of Crozes-Hermitage in its leanings.
Top booze that needs another 2-3 to show its best, I really enjoyed this one. 18.5/94