Posts Tagged ‘shiraz’

Penfolds Private Release 2007 Shiraz Cabernet

Monday, 2 August, 2010

Penfolds Private Release 2007 Shiraz CabernetI got this bottle last Christmas, and we decided to try it at a new Greek restaurant that we hadn’t been to before: Claypot at Gordon, which was really good. I was hoping this wine wouldn’t be too robust for M., who prefers the smoothness of merlot to the stronger flavours of cabernet suavignon and shiraz.

Well I needn’t have worried, as this was a very smooth number, with little to no oak evident to my untrained palate, and very low levels of tannin. It had some robustness, but not in that oaky flavour complex that can seem overpowering at times. The aroma was… plummy – that’s about the best I can do I’m afraid. There was maybe a hint of spice in there too, from the shiraz no doubt, but not very strong, and none of the peppery notes that I’ve detected in shiraz before.

The taste was very smooth on the tongue. I picked the dominant flavour as plum-like, with a hint of raisins and some spice, perhaps a tough of aniseed. A little bit like a spicy fruit pudding, though not sweet at all. It was very… “round” in the mouth – I’m not sure if that’s the same thing that wine experts mean when they say a wine is “round”, but it feels right.

We didn’t finish the bottle, and it took me a few days to get back to it, at which point I decided not to drink the small remainder, but to make a poached pear in red wine with cinnamon, cloves, and allspice. Which I’m eating right now. Yum.

Vineyard Cottage Twin Trees 2001 Shiraz

Wednesday, 2 June, 2010

Vineyard Cottage Twin Trees 2001 Shiraz
The wedding we went to last month was in the Hunter Valley, a few hours drive from Sydney. So we drove up on Friday and stayed the Friday night before the wedding and the Saturday night afterwards, before heading home on Sunday. We stayed at Twin Trees Country Cottages, which was nice. The property had a small vineyard on it, and they make their own wine. We were given this bottle as a complimentary when we checked in.

South Australia is better known for shiraz than is the Hunter Valley, plus this was a freebie, so I wasn’t expecting any great things from it. Although the 2001 vintage could be taken as a good sign, because (as far as my still rudimentary knowledge goes) shiraz tends to age well and improve as it gets older, so 9 years old should theoretically be better than a vintage from just 2 or 3 years ago.

I’m also a bit reticent about shiraz as so far I’ve consistently found it to have a distinct “petrochemical” smell, which also translates across into the taste. Strong and a bit like (what I imagine it would be like) drinking kerosene.

This one, however, was pleasant on the nose, without that sharp, pungent smell. I couldn’t pick anything particularly identifiable in the odour, but I noticed it didn’t smell like what I’ve come to think of as “typically shiraz”. And the taste was amazing. It was smooth and light, with a very distinct flavour of fresh raspberries. Totally not what I was expecting. After a bit of development in the mouth, the distinctive shiraz spiciness came through, though not with the power of some others I’ve tried. I was looking for black pepper, but it wasn’t that – it was more like cinnamon and aniseed.

I have no idea if this would be considered a good shiraz or not, but I really liked it, which is a first for me and shiraz.

Wild Oats 2006 Shiraz/Viognier

Sunday, 14 March, 2010

Wild Oats 2006 Shiraz/Viognier
We went out to Hugo’s at Manly (flash website) for dinner last night for my nephew’s birthday. My sister- and brother-in-law like shiraz, so this ended up being chosen from the wine list. The Wild Oats winery (more flash) is apparently run by the same people behind the Wild Oats yacht racing syndicate, which famously contests the Sydney to Hobart every year.

I was surprised to see a blend of shiraz and viognier. From my rudimentary experience, shiraz is a powerful, full-bodied, and very spicy red, while viognier produces tangy and florally aromatic whites. Of course mixing opposites sometimes produces amazing results. I don’t know if this was truly amazing, but a gold medal at a London wine show can’t be all that bad.

The spicy aroma of shiraz was muted and there was something else elusive and unidentifiable there. Complex and interesting, at any rate. The initial taste was of tart green fruitiness, slightly reminiscent of the sauvignon blanc I had a few weeks ago, and which was very surprising coming from a deep purple-red wine like this. The spiciness of the shiraz kicked in after a while, but it was restrained in strength, and always mixed with that surprising tartness. The typical peppery flavour was either absent or only at a very low level. There was a hint of dark plum.

All together, an eye-opening blend. It was complex with layered flavours and very enjoyable.