Packaged up in a huge bottle, with its own presentation case, this Taltarni The Patron 2016 is unashamedly ambitious wine. But is it delicious?
Let’s get some background bits out of the way first. From Estate fruit (te vines now 50 years old), it’s a blend of Shiraz that is picked and placed in cool storage until Cab is ripe, then fermented together, the wine spending 6 weeks on skins, then matured in 60% new French oak for 24 months. A blend of 51% Cab and 49% Shiraz, with final numbers: TA 6, pH 3.61.
It’s really quite fine and sophisticated, hints of mint and a wall of tannins. Classy. A ball of flavour trying to get out. The grip and tempo of the tannins are unshakeable. Class, in a Pyrenees form. Unapproachable though, and that’s the rub – the finish a bit stewed, with dried tannins punctuating the finish in true 2016 style.
The result is a wine that is hard work now. I can’t put it any other way. It strides along, all tannins and oak, the quality there but cloaked in a wall of unapproachability. Drinkable now? Nope. Admirable wine? All the way. Just don’t bother opening it until later this decade. 18.5/20, 94/100. 14%, $120. Would I buy it? No. It’s just too forceful for my tastes (and expensive). But would be fun to have a bottle in the cellar to drag out in 20 years time.