Oakvale Peppercorn Shiraz 2011 (Hunter Valley, NSW)
13.5%, Screwcap, $25
These more recent Oakvale releases have really come up nicely. The upward quality curve is really in evidence since the Becker family took over the estate in 2010, and this is a pretty good example of where Oakvale is now ‘at’.
Open fermented for 12 months in ‘fine oak’ (I love that expression. Implies that there must be less-than-fine oak out there), this, again, carries that ’11 Hunter boysenberry purple colour, if not quite as deep and bright as the Elenay.
Suitably, it smells full and plush, all fruit and cleverly handled oak. Tastes generous and smooth too, that oak/fruit amalgam very easy to like, particularly as a young wine. I’d like more tannins and complexity, but I’d also like one of the fancy new Range Rover Evoques so my wants probably don’t always count.
Anyway, this is a very affable, modern style Hunter red of unquestioned ripe fruit flow. It’s not quite the most complex beast (and may never get there), but it will win you over with its silkiness.
Score: 17.5/20 91/100+
Would I buy it? Not quite. Might enjoy a glass. Would certainly recommend it.