Region: McLaren Vale
RRP: $80 Plus
Wine Lovers, I am back following up my last post about cellaring wine. Tonight I am backing myself up and looking at a ‘Big Shiraz’ from the McLaren Vale. This is from their 2002 vintage now making this wine thirteen years old. The tasting notes says:“that this wine can be consumed now, or, kept for many years.”
As I addressed in my last post, our Australian wines are considered “very drinkable upon release”. This is very true, as 99/100 wines made here are made to be consumed within their first five years. This wine has well passed that “five” year consumption mark. Which begs the question. What are we in for?
I have looked at an older aged wine before, but this thirteen year old wine would be in what we call “Peak Drinking” phase. I also call it the “Prime” phase.
What do we get for our thirteen years of patience?
The nose: And it still displays all the fruit that was in their 2002 tasting notes. There is still fruit drive up front. Blackberry and plum. There is also more development from the oak which one would expect over the years. This gives me a hint of chocolate and vanilla on the nose. Probably more prominent than it was in the past. The wine though, still smells young. (Yet on opening it, I did get smacked in the face with a marmite character.) This was because this wine had been kept bottled up for such a long time and this is the aroma the yeast from fermentation gave off. Never-the-less, I am surprised to find that there is still a great amount fruit on the nose for a wine that is now thirteen years old. This is not something we would characterise with a wine of this age.
The Palate, and there is no other word for it, is complete utter elegance. This is what we define, by peak drinking. (Perfect Balance). The fruit is there, it’s not over powering. This wine never had big tannin from the fruit to begin with from what is written in the sites tasting notes. However, the French Oak has still given the wine balance with its own tannin coming out in the wine, thus, everything still is kept in check without allowing certain characters of the wine to run loose. There is a sweetness to this wine with a nice plum flavour upfront, that works ever-so-well with the vanilla character that has been created from the French Oak working away over the years. There are many more years behind this wine that could lead me to believe that in another 15 years time this wine would be drinking well.
If only I had another bottle to experiment with…
The SA Wine Guy