Inkwell Perfect Day Shiraz 2012 (McLaren Vale, SA)
Perfect Day – forever intertwined in my mind with the after effects of a bad trip to Mother Superior.
Curiously, Lou Reed’s classic is a love song if you go just by the lyrics, but it seems haunting too – there’s a sense of longing and lost love woven through the song.
Or maybe that’s just me looking for the darkness…
Unsurprisingly, this wine comes from one of the deeper thinkers of Australian wine, Dudley Brown. Besides growing grapes and making wine, Dudley has quite a talent for forensic-like dissections of wine industry issues, laced with the odd skewering of wine industry bureaucrats (I love a good skewering).
Given this appreciation for the mind behind the wine, critically appreciating one of Dudley (and Irina)’s vinous creations can be problematic. I understand where the wine is ‘coming from’ a little too much, which might mean I’m more likely to forgive foibles.
This wine reviewing gig is harder than it looks.
Still, this Inkwell Shiraz is something to be admired, particularly within the ‘full-bodied’ McLaren Vale Shiraz frame of reference focused upon by winemaker’s like Drew Noon.
Produced from the Inkwell vineyard, this Perfect Day Shiraz is ‘larger than life’. It’s cast in a mould that is mouthfilling and mouthcoating, the 21 months in barrel (with a slightly higher new oak percentage than the Inkwell I & I Shiraz), full ripeness (14.6% alc.) and a dash of Primitivo giving this a saturating boldness that is unequivocally big.
Indeed it just looks massive, the colour a thick purple blackness that hints at what lays inside like a pool of black lava. Fittingly, it smells and tastes just as dense, with a huge coffeed richness, long, plums-with-blood-and bone meaty richness and warm, just slightly stewed, drying finish.
Sounds big doesn’t it? Over-powering big? But that’s the rub – for all that largesse of flavour the detail is meticulous, the tannins and BBQ t-bone core as savoury and unadulterated as possible. There are no bucketloads of tartaric required for balance here, just intensely flavoured, perfectly ripened Shiraz (Dudley is a grower, not a winemaker, so grapes are where this wine is at).
I hate slipping too far into wine wankery, but there is only one way to describe something like this – and that’s big wine artistry. In some ways it is too big, too ripe and too full, yet in the context of style this is a heroic (and even measured) wine.
Details: 14.6%, Screwcap, $40
Source: Sample, tasted Dec 14
Score: 18.7/20, 95/100
Would I buy it? In a big wine mood I’d drink half a bottle of this no sweat. Meat cooked over an open flame and truffled potatoes are this wines companions.
Buy online: Inkwell website