Reviewed: 20th September 2013
This tasting was defined by the number of outstanding wines on show. Interestingly, several of my favourites came from producers that I know little about. The wines from Salomon, Jericho and Shottesbrooke were all noteworthy.
I will write more on each of these producers over the next few weeks.
This is not to say that some of the established players did not show well. Yalumba’s Octavius was also in top form. A dense, powerful wine for the long hall.
Jericho – Shiraz – 2012 (18.5). Initially, this is restrained, taut and closed, with subdued fruit characters. The quality though is outstanding with wonderful depth and texture. The length is a defining feature, as is the balance and velvety mouth-feel. Will build and develop for many years. A superb wine from McLaren Vale.
Salomon – Shiraz – Finniss River – 2010 (18.5). This has both a captivating nose and wonderful palate. This is powerful, yet elegant and restrained at the same time. The palate is very long and near seamless, with subtle spicy notes. The fruit is quite closed, but the quality is evident in every aspect of this wine. An outstanding, sophisticated wine with great balance.
Shottesbrooke – Shiraz – Eliza – Reserve – 2010 (18.5). Here is another cracking wine from the 2010 vintage. Has an attractive nose that combines concentrated fruit with supple oak characters. The palate is initially closed, taut and linear, with bright acid and fine, drying, slightly chewy tannins. With air, this really opened up to display wonderful fruit that had layers of depth and complexity. The palate is very complex, expressive and alive. A beautiful wine that deserves ten years in the cellar.
Yalumba – Shiraz – Octavius – 2008 (18.5). An impenetrable wine that took two days to really open up and show its class. A great wine that demands patience.
Salomon – Shiraz – Finniss River – 2011 (18.3). Ripe fruit on the nose that hints at fresh plum and forest floor. A delicious wine that has a remarkably soft mouth-feel yet has tannins that are fine and persistent. The fruit builds depth and breadth in the glass and on the palate, evolving and enticing a further sip. Whilst this is a big, powerful wine, it expresses a softness that is very attractive. An excellent wine at the start of a long life.
Grant Burge – Shiraz – Filsell – 2011 (17.8). Inky colour and really deep smelling, this wine has quality stamped all over it. Presents precise fruit, with a vanillin oak lift. Masculine and structured, yet with elegance and poise. Chocolate fruit notes to close. Long and textured, this needs a few years to show its best, as the tannins are quite firm on the finish.
Jericho – Shiraz – Adelaide Hills – Syrah – 2012 (17.8). Lovely, peppery fruit to open here. The spicy fruit is balanced and nicely textured. The fruit is not overly dense, but has been handled sympathetically. Long and balanced, this could easily take 5 years in the cellar. Another producer who is trying to differentiate the Adelaide Hills style by adopting the French term Syrah.
Salomon – Shiraz – Finniss River – 2009 (17.7). Cooler climate fruit that is precise and focussed. Shows mint, red berries, bright cherry fruit, white pepper and a touch of aniseed. Long and sappy finish with silky, slightly dusty tannins that adds life and interest. Very smart wine that is good now or in 10 years.
Bird in Hand – Shiraz – 2012 (17.5). Whilst quite a big wine, this has quality, cooler climate fruit characters. The ripe, aromatic fruit is supported by supple, chewy tannins. A youthful wine with inherent balance and good length.