I came back from overseas to a literal mountain of wine, which means a solid few weeks of tasting ahead. First world problems I know…
Pacha Mama Heathcote Shiraz 2014
From Wine Unplugged and a new name to me. Some promise though. Bright, purple plum red colour. Surprisingly spicy nose with sausage meat and squishy purple red berry fruits. Maybe a little whole bunch? Certainly spicy and skinsy, the style just medium bodied, and more Yarra than Heathcote, save for the red earth richness on the back palate and just a little heat. Light, juicy and yet still savoury, it’s quite pretty if perhaps a little thin. Not bad and stylish enough. Drink: 2015-2021. 16.8/20, 89/100. 14%, $26. Would I buy it? A glass would do.
Tim Smith Bugalugs Barossa Shiraz 2013
Great name for a wine, Tim Smith is such fun. Anyway, this is Tim’s entry level Shiraz. Dark purple red, it’s got lots of chocolate and plum in soft, light and generous style. It’s just a little sweet and simple for me, but would be a good drink for sub $15. Drink: 2015-2019. 16.5/20, 88/100. 14.5%, $22. Would I buy it? If it was a little cheaper then maybe I would.
Bremerton Old Adam Langhorne Creek Shiraz 2012
Always a beast and this vintage particularly so. Alcohol seems more integrated than expected though, the good vintage helping no doubt. Deep purple red, this is all about intense, thick purple fruit and a little alcoholic volatility. The palate concentration and thickness of generous fruit is what wins here, all soft, ultra-rich purple fruit, low acid and soft tannins. Absolute hedonism and enjoyable because of it, that length of oak sweetened fruit undeniable, if just a little OTT. Drink: 2015-2030. 18/20, 93/100. 15%, $55. Would I buy it? Not quite, but it has a place and undeniable quality.
Summerfield Reserve Pyrenees Shiraz 2013
I’ve got a soft spot for the typically bold reds from Summerfield. Big and proudly so. Again loads of purple plum fruit, this is very concentrated and particularly oaky – sweet coconut oak meets sweet fruit. Great choc-berry concentration though utterly generous and full, wth that combo of plum and oak and a little bitterness makes this nice wine. Perhaps a bit full and chunly but that’s part of the appeal. Good stuff. Drink: 2017-2030+. 18.1/20, 93/100. 14%, $55. Would I buy it? Maybe not buy it, but I’d drink it over the Bremerton.
Willow Bridge Gravel Pit Geographe Shiraz 2013
Simon Burnell really pushed the Willow Bridge Shiraz quality forward over the years, as typified by the sold wine. What a loss. Anyway, this is loaded with black and white pepper, the nose so spicy and meaty, with everything then backed by a solid, mid-weight palate in a quite compact, even cool clime style, though perhaps just the faintest hint of confection. Real WA Shiraz though and refreshing too. Drink: 2015-2021. 17.7/20, 92/100. 13.4%, $30. Would I buy it? I’d drink two glasses easy.