Bimbadgen Signature Series Shiraz 2014
I always like retrying wines after they’ve been in bottle for a while, if purely for the intrigue of a wine’s personality changes. With young red wines the change is often positive, but at other moments a sullen phase can appear – often for no good reason at all.
These two Bimbadgen reds looked superb when I tried them in May last year and I was excited to have another go. Yet, as you can see, this duo looked a little lighter and less convincing than they did a year ago, almost as if they had retreated into their respective shells.
It’s not unusual to see this sort of variation – and it could well be my fallibility now or a year ago – but still I was surprised. Not quite ‘these aren’t the same wines that I tried! Call the Wine Inquisition’. Just different. Like a mood. Or a moment. They’re still quality Hunter wines, just the sound has been turned down and acidity turned up.
That said, sometimes a lower volume can be great, and structurally this duo are well built. Patience is required, and the plus signs are more important than ever…
Bimbadgen Signature Series Palmers Lane Shiraz 2014
Bright purple maroon. Black and red jube on the nose, with some oak sweetness dipping in there to (despite this wine being matured in large oak) with black jubes, blueberry, faint whiff of herbs and then an afterthought of caramel oak in the background. The challenge here is simply the youthful exuberance – it tastes like a barrel sample, the finish light and the acidity high. Yet it seems quieter, more acidic and just a bit shrill compared to last time. You get the feeling this will be a super wine in years to come, and the fine tannins are appreciable. Definitely more ‘medium’ this time around. Best drinking: 2018-2030. 17.5/20, 91/100+. 13.7%, $75. Would I buy it? For later perhaps.
Bimbadgen Signature Series McDonalds Road Shiraz 2014
Dark purple with less red than the Palmers. Much more black fruit than the much more juicy Palmers too. Last year I was more critical as this seems a little simple, but it has settled down into a more substantial wine now. Light plum, integrated oak and even though the alcohol is lower, this seems fuller and rounder. Still a mid-weight Hunter Shiraz, with lots of purple fruit. Slightly skittish finish with noted acidity, but tannins are serious enough. Good now, better later and still quality wine. Best drinking: 2020-2030. 17.7/20, 92/100+. 13.6%, $75. Would I buy it? A few glasses.