Matt East from Rouleur normally comes and visits at this time of year with all of his new releases in tow. We talk about wine, a bit of cycling, the glory of the Sydney Swans and the like. But in this pandemic-tilted period it can’t happen and all my usual patterns are out the window, with Matt locked down in Melbourne and me here, missing the usual tasting events and staying at home. Life, just a bit quieter. Matt kindly sent an (antibac wiped) bottle of this Rouleur McLaren Vale Shiraz 2019, and it’s another excellent release – a Vale Shiraz in a quieter, more sophisticated mode.
In fact, most of the sentiments from last vintage fit again here. Sourced from two vineyards at Blewitt Springs, with 25% whole bunches in the mix, the yields blindingly low (600kg/acre!), the juice wild fermented in largely older oak with extended skin contact. The result is, as ever, more Adelaide Hills than McLaren Vale, more about delicacy than impact, with finessed, fine-grained tannins a direct contrast to the rounded, voluminous fruit.
I still sat with this wine for quite a while. At first, it felt a bit simple, a bit too ‘medium’ for the classic McLaren Vale Shiraz idiom. But there’s an insistent liveliness and deftness here that eventually becomes quite compelling, and ultimately very drinkable.
Mark this down as another success story. Best drinking: now to ten years plus. 18.5/20, 94/100. 14.2%, $32. Rouleur website. Would I buy it? At $28.80 in a six pack this is blinding value. I’d buy it.
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