The Story Grampians Shiraz 2014
Rory Lane’s latest Shiraz and it’s a beauty – if in need of another 2 years minimum to show it’s best. Sourced from three Grampians Shiraz vineyards – Rice’s Vineyard, Hyde Park and Westgate. Wild fermented with 40% whole bunches, it was matured in older French oak for 12 months. Again, the challenge here is how youthful it is, with a barrel-sample-esque primary, purple Grampian plum fruit with a white pepper sheen and fine, well formed tannins. Medium bodied, yet with that ripe plum fruit which reminds me of old Bests, and great balance, without losing its ‘mediumness’. It just needs time. Best drinking: 2019-2030. 18/20, 93/100. 13.5%, $29. Would I buy it? Sure would. Two for the cellar thanks.
Balgownie Estate Bendigo Shiraz 2013
Tony Winspear know how to build wines with generosity and flavour, and this ’13 Shiraz is a wine of gusto. Chocolate and cherry plum ride high here in a thickly oaked, thickly fruited style, thickly tannic. At first it seems overt, but the longer it sits, the more you can appreciate the palate impact of that fruit, which occasionally wavers into cooked plum territory, though not far enough to derail things. Will be a 30 year wine no doubt. Best drinking: 2022-2040. 17.8/20, 92/100+. 14.8%, $45. Would I buy it? Would be interesting to see with bottle age.
Tahbilk Eric Stevens Purbrick Nagambie Lakes Shiraz 2012
You get the sense that these structure-first Tahbilk reds might indeed live forever. If the ’65 I tasted a few years back is any indication, then that’s probably true. There’s a dense, dusty, old school charm of baked earth and drying tannins here to reinforce the timelessness too. Interestingly, this smells and tastes warmer than 13.5%, but that’s as much a product of ripe fruit than anything else. That palate is pretty classic central Vic Shiraz – maybe a bit sweet and sour, but the earthy stream of chocolate dipped fruit is impressive in its concentration and with no shortage of hulking, rough tannins to finish. There’s a roughness here that stops it being seductive, but heartiness is part of the glory here. Long too. Just don’t open it yet. Best drinking: 2022-2035+. 17.7/20, 92/100+. 13.5%, $71.95. Would I buy it? Not yet. Fun to have in the cellar though.
Montalto Pennon Hill Mornington Peninsula Shiraz 2014
The entry level Montalto Shiraz and yet plenty substantial. Cherry and raspberry, with a faint whiff of ham, it’s a gently spicy little Shiraz, with sarsaparilla, raspberry flavours, the finish light and with a lovely simple freshness and fine tannin grip. Light bodied cool climate Shiraz, and made like Pinot. Nicely drinkable stuff. Best drinking: 2017-2020. 17.5/20, 91/100. 13.6%, $32. Would I buy it? I’d go a bottle for sure.
Mount Avoca Pyrenees Shiraz 2013
Mount Avoca seem to have had a charmed run with the ’13 reds and this Shiraz continues the theme. A dash of purple in the colour? Some Viognier? Concentrated nose opens with a dash of formic, and oak sweetened and surprisingly plush plum fruit. A little sausage in there too. Long and rather well built palate has just a little mintiness but otherwise it’s quite even and holds back the ripe year with aplomb. Clever wine really and has a classicness that should serve well over the medium term. 17.5/20, 91/100+. 13.5%, $29.95
Warner Vineyard ‘The Rest’ Beechworth Shiraz 2013
The final Warner Vineyard wine to pass the desk and just marginally the lesser of the lot. Handpicked and wild fermented with 60% whole bunch. It’s a meaty and stemmy wine with Bonox and leather, the warm vintage delivering power and density. Despite that, there’s a surprising elegance to the palate even if it’s a bit warm, the finish is fine and detailed. I find this just a bit furry and meaty for really high points, but the lines underneath are all quality stuff. Will be better in 5 years time. Best drinking: 2019-2028. 17.5/20, 91/100+. 14.5%, $36. Would I buy it? I’d go a glass or two.