Reviewed by Barry Weinman
Shiraz – New Release – August 2015
The inclusion of several “pairs” of wines made this a really interesting tasting.
The first pair were Shingleback “Red Knot” Shiraz’s. It was remarkable to see how much the 2012 had filled out with the two extra years in bottle. Admittedly, 2012 was a great year, but no $15 wine has a right to drink this well after a couple of years in the cellar. The just released 2014 may be even better, and is sure to follow in its footsteps.
The other pair of note came from Shottesbrooke. Both were from the highly respected 2013 vintage, and both made in a similar fashion. But coming from different sub-districts, the differences were notable. The Jenkin’s Vineyard expressed cooler fruit characters in a reserved style, whilst the Blewitt Springs had lovely McLaren Vale fruit characters, albeit in a medium-bodied version.
Shingleback – Shiraz – Red Knot – 2012 (17.8). Sweet, succulent, almost perfumed fruit, with a savoury undertone. The palate is vibrant and plump, with enough acid and structure to keep the finish interesting, complementing the dense fruit and fine tannins. Lovely chocolate characters to close. Really smart drinking.
Shingleback – Shiraz – Red Knot – 2014 (17.8). Fresh and vibrant fruit on the nose. The palate is only mid-weight, allowing the uncomplicated, lively and youthful fruit to be the main focus. There are fine tannins and a lick of oak to close. Excellent easy drinking now although a year or two in the cellar would not hurt at all. (RRP $15).
Leeuwin Estate – Shiraz – Art Series – 2012 (18). Perfumed vanilla notes abound on the nose, with quite pretty fruit. Quality fruit evident on the palate, with excellent acid and oak. The finish is very long, firm and almost chewy. Needs time to come together, but will reward the patient. (RRP $38).
Fifth Estate – Shiraz – 2011 (17.7). Closed and quite tight. The dense fruit has plum and chocolate characters, with menthol and a touch of black pepper on the palate. This is an impressively powerful and dense wine that coats the palate with layers of fruit and savoury oak. The length and persistence are noteworthy. Decent value. (RRP $19).
Shottesbrooke – Shiraz – Blewitt Springs – 2013 (18+). Beautiful sweet perfumed fruit on the nose. Pretty floral notes with a hint of vanillin oak adding depth. The floral fruit continues on the palate, with fine tannins and oak, along with well judged acidity adding drive and focus to the finish. Classic medium bodied McLaren Vale Shiraz, in an elegant form. Will age well. (RRP $50).
Shottesbrooke – Shiraz – Jenkin’s Vineyard – 2013 (18). Menthol and spice to open on the nose. The palate is dense and textured. The finish is chewy and structured, while the length is impressive. Deceptive, as while there is lovely forward fruit with air, the finish is very powerful. Drinking now or in 5 – 10 years. (RRP $40).