I am moving at the end of the month and the thought of moving my wine is a bit overwhelming. So this month I expect to be opening a number of wines I would rather not take to the new place. Not bad wines, just wines that may no longer capture much of my imagination, which probably means there might be a number of posts on Australian wines in September.
Initially, I had a bit of a soft spot for some of the big Australians, but they tend to lack complexity, nuance and intrigue — and instead just overpower you. I seemed to tire after a while as it seemed that Aussie Shiraz, even the good Aussie Shiraz, was quite similar from one bottle to the next. Sure there were some differences, but mostly variations on a similar equation.
This was probably one of the last bottles of Australian Shiraz I bought. I can actually remember the first time I ever had a Shirvington Shiraz, which at the time was also made by Sparky Marquis. It was about 5 years ago and it was so lush, opulent and velvety — at the time it really made an impression on me. It seems fitting to begin this venture into Australian Shiraz with the same winemaker that sparked my initial interest.
Dark, black purple in color. Classic Shiraz nose, with dark fruit, violet, espresso and kirsch. For 16.5% alcohol, the nose really isn’t very hot. The heat is a bit more apparent on the palate. Blackberry, olive, dark mocha with some graphite and dark licorice. There are elements of a Turley Zinfandel to this wine it actually shows a bit more balance and grace (relatively speaking that is….). I was actually a bit impressed how well it held its alcohol after decanting the wine and coming back to it after a couple of hours. But there is still that high alcohol, high sugar, medicinal, big Aussie thing going on.
That being said, there might be an occasion and a mood when I might enjoy this with a big, fleshy, charred rib eye. But on many other occasions I would be just as inclined to serve it over pancakes. It does start to push the definition of wine — and again, it plays a very predictable hand as to what you might expect, and if that is your game I expect you might like this — though I would add something very similar can be found for half the price.