Tasmanian Shiraz has come a long way.
Ever since Nick Glaetzer won the Jimmy Watson trophy back in 2011, Tasmanian Shiraz (or Syrah. I hate that. Just call it Shiraz) has gone from industry joke to serious cool climate contender.
There’s still bugger-all (to use the technical term) Shiraz planted in Tasvegas, but with climate change driving summer temps ever higher, it’s only a matter time before we the variety becomes ‘a thing’.
Still, there is a long way to go – and this Riversdale isn’t there yet.
Admittedly it’s the first ever release, but ambitions are very high – look only at the pricetag to see that. Riversdale is an ambitious project from the outset, with the 120ha property aiming to be a serious player in Tasmanian wine (and early results have been good)
Musca is a tiny constellation positioned below the Southern Cross. This wine is made by Frogmore Creek like it’s a Pinot Noir, with a pre and post-ferment cold soak, then 12-14 months in a mix of French and American oak.
Dark ruby, this is clearly a different beast to most Aussie Shiraz, the fruit light, fragrant and stylish, perhaps lacking in concentration but swanky. It tastes like young vine fruit – lightish and slightly simple juiciness and finishing with warm alcohol. Still, it’s a plump and pretty wine, lifted by natural acidity, even though the hints of capsicum suggest underripeness, with a slight weedy edge. That green/juicy fruit contrast isn’t quite congruent, but the prettiness can’t be denied.
There is clearly potential here – and plenty of style and swagger – though as a complete wine it is not there yet. Best drinking: 2016-2020. 16.5/20, 88/100. 14.5%, $57. Would I buy it? No.