Shiraz Barossa, McLaren Vale, Coonawarra South Australia
There's a noticeable cabernet component here (it's 11% cabernet), giving the flavour profile a noticeable hit of blackcurrant and a more elongated, bony, tannin-driven structure. Still, the palate does come with flights of deep, dense, dark blackberry and crushed ants, and there's a thick, malty, mentholly hit, particularly on the finish. Again, the striking thing here is the wine's balance. And with a polished array of supporting flavours: cedar, dark chocolate, Asian-spice and brooding prune, it seems that time could easily do wonders.
The Barossa Valley experienced a drier than average growing season with rainfall at 83 percent of the 10 year mean, reducing yield in a virtually disease-free season. Ripening was slow. Good sugar levels, alcohols and ripe flavours were realised. Good rainfall in the McLaren, Coonawarra had a warm, dry autumn followed by a cool slightly wet summer. Alcohol 13.50% Acidity 7.20g/L pH 3.55%
Comments by John Duval: Dark plum with brick red rim. Rich and complex with flashes of green tea leaf and truffle, interlocked with freshly tanned leather and savoury notes, prune and stewed blueberry fruits. Enticing classy oak (cedar) elevated, yet not overstated, by smoky barrel ferment character. What is promised on the nose is delivered on the palate - an opulent, intense, hedonistic wine. Layers of massive Shiraz fruit and expertly crafted oak manifest themselves into a seemingly endless variety of flavours - deep plum, liquorice, cedar, chocolate, coffee - all compressed into a silken, round mouth feel. Forceful, ripe tannins are balanced by sheer weight of fruit. An excellent offering from an above average vintage.