Grant Burge Meshach Shiraz 2009 (Barossa, SA)
14.5%, Cork, $180
Grant Burge is in the news this week after Accolade Wines confirmed that it is in discussion to possibly acquire/merge with Burge.Given that Grant is the largest independant vineyard land owner in the Barossa, its probably a quite strategic move for the historically McLaren Vale based Hardys/Accolade business to gain a Barossa asset. The Burge name has plenty of cache too so a pretty natural acquisition.What’s intriguing is that Accolade are actually on the acquisition trail – a peculiar move given that the private equity group that own Accolade made it well known that all the winery assets were on the selling table up until only recently. Probably still are…
Anyway, I digress – let’s talk about Meshach. Now $180/bottle, this comfortably sits in the ‘icon’ class of Barossa reds and is built very much in the classic, old school tradition of big Barossan reds – complete with a cork seal and fancy gift box.
In many ways Meshach hasn’t changed since the inaugural 1988 vintage – still sourced from the oldest vines on the Filsell vineyard (which are well over 100 years old apparently) and still all about barrel fermentation with a long (22 months or more) maturation in largely new American oak (though more French recently).
Given that the recipe hasn’t changed all that much over the last 20 years its not surprising that this wine tastes a little old fashioned. Indeed it just looks like a big Barossa red, with an impenetrable black red colour that is impossibly thick and dark. You could lose yourself in there.
It smells… of oak. Wonderful, new, heavy toast oak, indicated with cola nut, molasses and bourbon, the oak lacquered over what is already a heady, figgy, warm year ripe wine. Fitting that the palate is ripe, heavy and licoricey, the oak an ever present drying force of mocha richness, giving drying oak tannins to a dry wine that has quixotically high (added) acid to the slightly bitter – but very long – finish.
In many ways it is easy to write a wine like this off as a caricature and a flashback to 1998. Yet that is also missing the key appeal here – of impact, thickness and depth, of a wine style that big red wine drinkers automatically equate with quality, of a mantra that says more is more when you pay over $100 for a bottle of red.
What I’m saying is that this has a place. It’s not modern, its not flashy or savoury or even that complex. But it does exactly what you expect it to – and will continue doing so in the bottle for many years yet. For that alone it deserves reasonable points and a respecting nod.
Tasted: Nov 14
Score: 18/20, 93/100
Would I buy it? Not personally. But many more would
Buy online: Grant Burge website
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