Thomas Wines Elenay Shiraz 2011
14% Screwcap $45
Elenay, as it is named, is a new Shiraz from Andrew ‘Thommo’ Thomas, the wine comprised of a 60/40 blend of Sweetwater and Kiss vineyard fruit, in what is a (theoretical) blend of barrels that didn’t make the cut for either wine.
That’s a curious designation actually, as I think the price more closely reflects where it sits in the Thomas Wines range – halfway between Kiss and Sweetwater. It’s all a style thing according to Thommo, as said barrels didn’t quite fit the Sweetwater mode and weren’t quite Kiss either. It doesn’t feel like a ‘lips and assholes’ offcuts blend.
Like so many 2011 Hunter Shiraz, this has the most incredible boysenberry purple colour. What a fabulous, distinctive colour it is too, often found in warm vintage Hunter Shiraz, yet nowhere else. Why is that I wonder?
The colour matches up with the style too – open and plum essence rich, a mountain of molten purple fruit topped off with Chocolate Oak (or a Moove as they’re better) oak. It’s very generous and cosseting in its purple richness, yet still with those trademark Hunter red earth tannins.
What I really like is that you can clearly see the components – it has some of the prettiness of the Sweetwater, but concentration of Kiss. The finish marks this as a wine of some quality, with a long, persistent, sweet berried and finely tannic back palate that could be nothing else but ripe year Hunter Shiraz.
A lovely Hunter Shiraz, built quite decadent, yet also dry and sufficiently tannic, the only qualm here is that it’s perhaps too modern and polished for the Hunter idiom. Oh and that its best years are well ahead of it. Otherwise, dive right in!
Score: 18.3/20 93/100+
Would I buy it? Yes, yes I would.