Chapel Hill The Vicar Shiraz 2009 (McLaren Vale, SA)
14.5%, Screwcap, $75
This iteration of The Vicar was deliberately held back while the 2010 version was released, such was its slightly brooding and formidable nature.
I looked at this wine over 3 days and it didn’t move much either, still rippling with thick black licorice fruit and heaps of extract. As befitting many of the 2009 Vale reds it is a drying beast too (part of the reason why it was hold back), heading towards portiness too (’twas a heatwave year after all).
Still, I didn’t find this ever desiccated or cooked, just big and a little porty, capped with rugged, masculine tannins.
Probably not my favourite Vicar, but I can appreciate the style (and many will love it).
Score: 17.7/20, 92/100
Would I buy it? Hmm. Maybe not. I’d take the 2010 instead.