Willow Bridge Gravel Pit Shiraz 2011 (Geographe, WA)
13.8%, Screwcap, $30
I expected less of this Willow Bridge Shiraz. Something about the etched bottle seemed to suggest a simple, confected sweet commercial wine. Ditto the co-fermented Viognier. The nose is sweet and fruity so I thought I was right too. It’s the little details give away that this is no soulless red though, like the additions of whole bunches of Riesling in the ferment, or the very careful 13.8% alcohol. More than meets the eye.
It all kicks off with a blast of modern, ripe, polished dark cherry and plum fruit, all polish and fruit and sweetness, a smell of fruit but not ‘wine’ if you get my drift. The palate though is dark, bitter-sweet and smacked with very stout, gravelly tannins. Lots of tannins. Lots of sweet tannins, but real tannins. Likeable tannins. There is a quirk through the middle too, that plum fruit has a peachiness to it that may well be the stamp of Viognier and Riesling, but it doesn’t scream of either – a vineyard character perhaps? Regardless it adds intrigue. Lingering finish is much better than I expected too. Quality wine here.
Drink: 2012 – 2018+
Would I buy it? Hmm. Not sure. Not strictly but it does have intrigue. I’d recommend it though.