Shiraz – New Release

Reviewed: 30th March 2014

Whilst I have no direct control over the wines that are submitted to the panel for tasting, the wines on display for this tasting were very impressive in general.  The wines came from some well known labels, as well as several that are new to me.


Henschke – Shiraz – Mount Edelstone – 2009 (18.5).  The silky elegance and balance came as a surprise here after some of the more robust wines tasted.  This is elegant, refined, long, supple and deliciously seamless.  Whilst everything is in place to age, this is great now thanks to the delicate fruit and fine tannin/oak balance.  A superior wine that will take 15 years + in the cellar.

Yalumba – Shiraz – Octavius – 2008 (18.5).  Lovely mint and herbal notes initially here.  There is, however, a core of dense, powerful fruit that starts to show with air.  The palate is silky and fine yet, again, the latent power is palpable.  The fruit flavours tend to red berries.  Chewy tannins and oak close down the fruit, but these are not intrusive or out of balance.  Develops licorice and spice with air.  Whilst the oak treatment is evident, it is in no way intrusive, sitting nicely with the high quality fruit.  Deserves its reputation. (RRP $110).

The Yard – Shiraz – Justin Vineyard – 2012. (18).  Great fruit and winemaking, yet the acid here is just a little fresh initially.  Opens to show plum and blackberry flavours with spice and hints of oak.  Very long and textured, this is a wine for the patient.  The next day, this was even better with delicious dark fruits that coat the tongue melding with very fine tannins on a near seamless finish.  (RRP $35).

Cross Stitch – Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon – 2012 (18).  I like this a lot.  Ripe red fruit with excellent balance.  The palate is silky and fine, with the gentle tannins complementing the fruit perfectly.  Really long, this is an elegant wine of considerable charm.  Good now or in five years.  (The points here are for the sheer drinkability). (RRP $22).

Willoughby Park – Shiraz – 2010 (17.9).  A dense wine full of licorice, spice and black pepper.  The finish is almost a touch awkward now, but is long and balanced.  Quality oak and fine tannins marry well with the fruit on the finish.  Opens to show sweet, ripe fruit that is seductive and delicious, with a lovely finish.  From the Great Southern. (RRP $22).

Izway – Shiraz – Rob & Les – 2012 (17.8).  This is a cracker of a wine, with a delicious mouthful of ripe plum fruit, yet with just enough structure to make the balance spot on.  This is juicy, ripe and totally delicious.  Not as “serious” as some here, but a great drink right now.  (RRP $30).

Sandalford – Shiraz – Estate Reserve – 2011 (17.8).  Closed, dense and powerful, this wine stands out for its quality fruit and winemaking.  Whilst it has lovely ripe fruit, it is refined, and initially quite subdued.  On the palate, the fine tannins shut down the finish though the length and texture are excellent.  With plenty of air, the lovely spicy fruit came to the fore.  A wine for the future.

Shingleback – Shiraz – The Davey Estate – 2011 (17.5 – 18).  Dense, taut and somewhat unyielding.  Hints of spice (clove and star anise).  The palate is firm, with fresh acidity, yet there are silky/refined tannins and oak and plenty of fine, white pepper to close.  This is an elegant, yet powerful wine that has potential.  Reflects the year with restrained, cooler climate fruit characters.  (RRP $23).

Crooked Brook – Shiraz – 2011 (17.5).  Ripe plum-like characters initially, yet with a core of elegant red fruits.  The palate has lovely mouth-feel and weight, and there is a lick of licorice that runs to the back of the palate.  Long and juicy, with fine tannins that frame the fruit.  Excellent drinking.

Rosemount – Shiraz – Diamond Label – 2012 (17.3).  Silky, dense, ripe and balanced.  This has souring plum-like fruit, with cedar and spicy notes.  The finish is plump and textured, with a touch of chocolate and coffee to close.  Not that dense or complicated, but a good drink.