It’s always a pleasure when you spot a little inkling of greatness in a young wine. That point when it all clicks and you step back and think ‘wine is amazing’.
That’s how I felt when trying the Mount Avoca Malakoff Shiraz 2013. I’ve had multiple great wines from the celebrated Malakoff dirt over the past year or so (like the super pair from Willow Creek and Lethbridge), but this was a high water mark. A wine that gently reminds you of how great Pyrenees Shiraz can be when everything aligns. Western Victoria showing it’s beauty.
I don’t think I’ve been paying close enough attention to Mount Avoca. Must work on that…
Mount Avoca Malakoff Shiraz 2013
Sourced from the Malakoff Vineyard, this was matured for 15 months in new French oak.
What draws you in here is that smorgasbord of Vic Shiraz aromatics. Pepper (whole bunch? Or just a healthy concentration of rotundone?), earth, more spice and a withering licoricey flavour. Impressive oak integration, too. The palate is full and broad shouldered – a muscular wine – but without any hints of overripeness or excess (especially compared to the Old Vine), and punctuated with peppered plum fruit. Lithe and elegant but powerfully purple fruited. Yes yes Shiraz! Best drinking: 2017-2030+. 18.5/20, 94/100. 13.8%, $45.95. Would I buy it? It’s a bargain.
Mount Avoca Old Vine Shiraz 2013
It seems almost unfair to have this follow the Malakoff, but important for context. Curiously, it spent 24 moonths in oak, and I wonder whether it did this wine a disservice on the freshness front (and the 25% American wood seems odd too). Indeed this is sweeter, warmer, plusher, riper. More old school, even. The RM Williams vs the Julius Marlows. The concentration may be a step up on the Malakoff, complete with more caramelly warmth and more sandy tannins to finish. The longer this sat, the more I thought it looked a little dried out, despite the extra weight. Great intensity of flavour though, and you know this will be a long termer. Would love to have seen both wines given similar treatment in the winery! Best drinking: 2017-2030+. 17.7/20, 92/100+. 13.5%, $45.95. Would I buy it? I’d take one of these to 6 of the above.