Monday, 30 April 2012

Shirvington The Redwind Shiraz 2010

This Shiraz comes from the Christies beach geological formation in Willunga.  Below is the viticulturists note from the winery which says everything so clearly I thought it needed to be added.

Peter Bolte -

After three consecutive years of very difficult growing conditions, 2010 delivered the best vintage in at least 12 years.  One needs to hark back to the great vintages of 1996 or 1998 to find anything comparable as far as the quality of this vintage is concerned.

Winter rainfall in 2009 was near average for McLaren Vale and with a warmer, although drier than average early spring, the season appeared to be going well. However, an unprecedented eight day heatwave in November disrupted the flowering period if several grape varieties, notably Grenache and Merlot.  The Shiraz of the district escaped most of the damage, as flowering had been mostly completed just a few days prior to the heatwave.

Near average weather conditions through summer, apart from a worrying four day hot spell in the second week of January, wet up a wonderful vintage. We harvested the Shirvinton Shiraz in the second week of March, with the Cabernet picked in the last week of March.  Yields in all blocks were good.  The resulting wine quality is exceptional, with the entire team at Shirvinton looking forward to the release of these great wines.

Shirvington The Redwind Shiraz 2010

Does the word Massive mean anything? This is huge with a combo of seductive oak bombarding the dark bombastic fruit.  This is made in a no holes bard style of wine that will wine a lot of hearts, especially if you like masses of meat on your plate.  What carries this over the line is the structure that resides beneath the fruit flavours and the nice acidity that holds it together.  It is a very satisfying wine but it would have been monumental if it was picked a touch earlier.

Alcohol: 15%
Price: No price attached
Rated: 87
Drink: 2015 - 2024

Poderi Aldo Conterno Barolo DOCG 2006

The hierarchy of wines that come from Barolo are easy to understand.  Generally wineries start with a Langhe, which is the larger regional name, then they move into a blended vineyard wine from the better areas within Barolo and finally finish with single vineyard wines.  Aldo Conterno does it a little different as he has another wine above the individual vineyard wines that is the best parcels from that vintage blended together.  The Granbussia reserva is that wine and is only released in great vintages with 7 years cellar maturation.

Poderi Aldo Conterno Barolo DOCG 2006

For a standard release this has plenty of stuffing.  What I notice the most is the waves of tannin that ride my tongue like Kelly Slater at the world championships. They are seductive and I just want to keep watch. While the tannis are mesmerising the flavours not sweet at all. In fact even the red fruits are savoury and sour but they are mixed with dried roses and intense Indian spice notes.   Actually the spice is so intense it tastes like it is vaporised which makes me think it could be smoked Indian spice or incense. Whatever it is, I want more of it. The palate is exploding with vigour yet it still seems if I waited for a while it would show me so much more.

Alcohol: 14.5%
Price:  $125
Rated: 93++
Drink: Give it 8 years and give them a go.
Importer: Negociants

Saturday, 28 April 2012

d'Arenberg Blind Tiger Shiraz 2010

The Blind Tiger's vines are grown on sandy loam soils which means that the drainage is not a worry.  The loam aspect provides a large amount of nutrients for the vines to consume which may mean that the wines from this district could be unique and more expressive than a lot of other areas. D'Arenberg now has ten different individual vineyard wines with six wines on tasting each day to showcase the differences within McLaren Vale. On a sperate yet related note, Chester is one of the movers and groovers behind the scarce earth project.  I think this project is a brilliant idea as it gets people excited about tasting the diversity within one region.  What it will also do it allow people to gravitate towards the areas that they love the most.

d'Arenberg Blind Tiger Shiraz 2010

There are gorgeous aromatics cascading out of the glass which is driven by dried flowers and plums.  As I sit with this wine the flavours evolve but never trend toward over ripeness. It is a little more medium body than a lot of other wines from the area yet it still retains richness and regional appeal.  On the palate the flavours are shut down and locked up tight in a wealth of tannin.  The length of the wine is great with a structure that says **** off.  It is the light and playfull tannins that envelope my mouth mixed with a lively acid backbone that most impressed me.  As this wine has only been bottled two weeks ago I would leave it to settle and open up with a little time in bottle.  I've tried a few wines from d'Arenberg from the 2010 vintage and I would say they can't do anything wrong. If you haven't been down to their cellar door in a while then it is time.

Alcohol: 14.6%
Price: $99
Rated: 91+
Drink: Give it 12 years before opening it and it will live for decades.