McLaren Vale Shiraz, bottle number 17580. The very dry cork disintegrated despite my best efforts with massed gadgetry, and some filtering was required to remove fine sediment.
The wines is still a deep ruby colour with trivial bricking; aromas include red liquorice, black cherry, blackberry and mocha, with sweet spice notes present too. The palate is rich, sweet and fresh with greater blackberry fruit impact; the brandy spirit is deliciously balanced, the liquorice materialises with the blackberry, spices and light mocha, and there is a prolonged, pleasingly drying finish.
At 21 years, this wine has reached an excellent drinking plateau.
93 points, and drink to 2030.
First thing to notice is the bottle – 500ml but a narrow, towering cylinder that is difficult to store; nice label, nice name. Its 100% grenache from McLaren Vale in South Australia. Thankfully its cork has performed its function. It certainly needed decanting, as there was a pile of sediment.
Its not the deepest of colours; a dark ruby seems to fit; its bouquet is full of liquorice, rose petal and eucalypt. There is sweet but balanced spirit, and its eerily reminiscent of some old Reynella VPs – minus the extreme blackberry, and of course they were Shiraz based. It’s a slightly malty milk chocolate style with the sweetness and relative lack of tannins holding it back. Cleverly constructed, and an excellent “welcome back” to Australia.
Drink to 2025, score 87 points