This is great. A great wine and a great drink – and all at 13.5% alcohol. So what’s the secret of the Yangarra King’s Wood Shiraz 2020?
It obviously starts in the vineyard (hello cliche!). This comes from a patch of vines planted on an ironstone sandy outcrop on the certified biodynamic Yangarra McLaren Vale. In other words, a choice block, inside a celebrated old McLaren Vale vineyard, farmed to the highest standards. Check. Then in the winery – there are some whole bunches included in the (wild) ferment before maturation in very big 25hl foudre, a mix 50% new, 50% one and two year old oak. Those big barrels ensure that you get much less wine surface area in contact with the oak, and they tend to have less oxygen ingress – so less oak flavour, and more vibrancy.
The end result? A lovely, entirely moderate McLaren Vale Shiraz. Mid weight, this kicks off in the red (rather than purple or black) end of the fruit spectrum, with an unforced, gently spiced feel. If anything, it’s a style more akin to some of the Tyrrell’s classic Hunter reds rather than classic plump and purple McLaren Vale Shiraz, which are more vibrancy rather than impact (indeed, Tyrrell’s pick early, and use very large oak too). There’s still some plummy ripeness through the middle, but it’s not heavy, and then the wine finishes with very fine fruit tannins. In some ways, it would be easy to mark a wine like this down – and it’s not going to win show awards as a result. But that’s kind of the point – this isn’t out to win show awards, just hearts and minds. It got mine.
Best drinking: now, ten years time, twenty. It will still be going strong. 18.7/20, 95/100. 13.5%, $65. Yangarra website. Would I buy it? Definitely.
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