Shiraz – New Release

Reviewed 7th August 2013

This tasting saw the new releases from Cherubino and Sandalford, and neither disappointed.

The highlights for the tasting were two wines from Cherubino (Ad Hoc and Laissez Faire) and the pair from Angoves.


Cherubino – Shiraz – Laissez Faire – 2012 (18 – 18.5).  Lovely peppery fruit here on both the nose and palate that is very attractive.  Initially, the nose is closed and tight, while the palate is restrained, yet silky and supple.  Superb fruit and winemaking on show, though this wine is only hinting at potential now.  Over a couple of days, this wine really blossomed to show beautiful fruit that is very hard to resist.  This is compelling drinking at $50.

Sandalford – Shiraz – Prendiville – 2011 (18 – 18.5).  Wow!  This is a special wine, with fantastic, cool climate shiraz that has been brilliantly handled.  Starts off refined, fine and elegant, yet there is an underlying intensity to the fruit that is disarming.  Chewy and dense, the quality French oak adds texture to the mouth-feel rather than overt flavours.  Very long, but needs time.

The Yard – Shiraz – Acacia Vineyard – 2011 (18+).  Closed, tight, dense and powerful.  Superb wine that needs years to open up and let the quality fruit sing.  The finish is drier than the Sahara desert, with tannins that completely close down the fruit.  With air this developed chocolate, plum, spice and cedar, with hints of licorice and pepper.  Demands patience, but this is a worthwhile addition to the cellar.

The Yard – Shiraz – Riversdale Vineyard – Frankland River – 2011 (17.8+).  More obvious fruit here, though this is a good thing.  Rich and ripe, with a core of chocolate running through the palate.  The tannins are very fine, though plentiful.  Smart wine now, or in 10 years.  This wine took two to three days on the tasting bench to hit its straps, but was a very rewarding drink.

Sandalford – Shiraz – Estate Reserve – 2010 (17.5 – 18).  Serious fruit on the nose, though this is the first wine where the vanilla/coconut characters from the oak sit over the fruit.  This is not a bad thing, it is just that it will need a couple of years for the oak to settle into the fruit.  Firm and drying, though the finish is quite silky.

Ad Hoc – Shiraz – Middle of Everywhere – 2012 (17.5+).  The absolute bargain in the Cherubino shiraz line-up, and a delicious wine to boot.  Opens with peppery, bright fruit that has plum, cinnamon and spicy notes.  The palate is long and fleshy, with enough structure to guarantee aging.  The finish is elegant and mouth-filling, making for a great drink now or in 10 years.

Angove – Shiraz – Vineyard Select – 2012 (17.7).  Brilliant fruit, lovely structure, sympathetic oak. This is long and dense with drying tannins.  Will reward short term cellaring.  How this can be sold for only $15 dollars is beyond me!

Angove – Shiraz/ Cabernet – Organic – 2012 (17.2).  Nice blend of ripe, peppery fruit and more complex, earthy aromas.  This follows through on the palate, with bright cherry fruit, white pepper and dense, plum flavours.  Softer tannins make this an easy wine to enjoy now with a meal, or to cellar for a few years for added complexity.  Organic or not, this is a good drink and a real bargain.

Sandalford – Shiraz – Margaret River – 2011 (16.9).  Lovely ripe fruit with smart oak.  Refined, though this is a more obvious wine.  The alcohol adds depth to the mouth-feel.  Chewy, dense and textured, this is a good mid-week wine that could also be aged for a few years.