The flagship red for Robert Stein and named after the boat that brought the Stein family to Australia in 1838. The Robert Stein Kinnear 2014 is 97% Shiraz and 3% Cabernet representing the ‘best fruit from the best rows’ of the family’s 40yr old vines. Wild fermented and matured in 50% new oak and the rest 1yr old hogsheads, then a barrel selection.
I was expecting a Mountian Blue-esque heartiness, but this is spicy and savoury and mid weight. Hat tip to Jacob Stein, and what is easily the best winery in the region (look only at recent Mudgee wine shows for evidence). The nose is more Rhone than ‘the Mudge’, with pepper steak and cranberry amidst the coffee powder caramel oak. Underneath the palate is still coming together, with grainy and very savoury dark chocolate oak dominating, the fruit filling out the rest. A big appeal here is the silky smooth texture and the length and breadth of the palate. That oak is dominant for now, but such classy shapes underneath. A Mudgee standout.
Best drinking: Wait. Come back in five years. It will be a twenty year wine. 18/20, 93/100+. 14%, $80. Would I buy it? Not cheap, but worth a bottle in the cellar to see where it goes.