Recent wines in the more traditional Aussie styles

I’m aware that my blog posts may give the impression that I’m obsessed with Italian wines and Italian grape varieties in Australia.  That’s partly true, but I can assure you that we still drink plenty of the more traditional Aussie styles at home too.  By traditional I mean the more established wines based on the French varieties of shiraz and cabernet sauvignon, which have been the foundation of the Australian wine industry (with regard to red wines).  My wife in particular loves a good cabernet, with the extra tannic grip that it offers, making it a superb partner for almost any red meat.  Here are some recent wines from these varieties that we’ve enjoyed…

The Cabernets:

Wynns John Riddoch Cabernet Sauvignon 1998 (Coonawarra):  This is still very young, but enjoyable.  The oak derived notes of spice and coffee remain quite strong, and will settle more over time and allow the fruit to express itself more clearly.  The sheer density of the wine is very impressive.  I have a few bottles left and look forward to following this wine for many more years (decades perhaps?).

Wynns Cabernet Sauvignon 2001 (Coonawarra):  Drinking nicely at the moment, with classic cassis flavour, medium bodied, and very drinkable.  This wine, as noted previously, is a cellar staple and an Australian classic.

Parker Terra Rossa First Growth Cabernet Sauvignon 2000 (Coonawarra):  Another Coonawarra wine, and another subtly different, but delicious, expression.  This wine showed a nice tobacco aroma along with blackcurrant and leather, with a nicely integrated palate and good length of flavour.  Very tasty.

Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 (Margaret River):  Moss Wood is a benchmark Australian cabernet; this one comes from a warmer year, where the richness of the fruit shows.  There are flavours of mulberry and some of the rum and raisin character typical to many Margaret River cabernets.  Very nice.

Joseph “Moda” Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2006 (McLaren Vale):  Very impressive, but much too young to be near its best.  The oak, fruit, and tannin all scream for attention at this early stage; each impressive in its own right, but without much harmony…yet.  It will undoubtedly come together nicely over the next few years and promises an excellent future.

The Shiraz:

Rockford Basket Press Shiraz 2005 (Barossa):  A classic, richly fruited Barossa shiraz, albeit from a leaner year.  But sometimes the leaner years produce wines that are less outright opulent and are more drinkable; and this was an enjoyable, gluggable wine.  (gluggable being a very technical term, loosely translated as “easy to drink” or indicating that the contents of the bottle disappearing rapidly).

Wirra Wirra RSW Shiraz 1999 (McLaren Vale):  This was an archetypal McLaren shiraz, with rich blackberry fruit, loads of chocolate and coffee flavours, rich palate weight and impression of sweetness.  It remains very youthful, although has built nice complexity of flavours, and should drink well for a few more years.

Clonakilla Syrah 2006 (Canberra):  This wine is unmistakably modeled on the syrahs (AKA shiraz) from the Northern Rhone in France, yet is also Australian in its own right.  It melds spice and pepper aromas nicely with dark fruit flavours, with a medium bodied but densely flavoured palate.   It’s more savoury that the above two wines and a style I enjoy more and more.

Mount Pleasant Rosehill Shiraz 2009 (Hunter Valley):  As noted in a previous post, the Rosehill Shiraz is an old favourite of mine.  I thought some of the earlier vintages of the 00s were not as good as they could have been, while the 2007 marked a return to form.  I’m pleased to say the 2009 is another strong vintage for this wine.  Medium bodied, with hints of spice and nice sweet and savoury dark fruit flavours.  It’s very drinkable.

Tyrrell’s Stevens Shiraz 2009 (Hunter Valley):  Similar in style to the above wine, with maybe a touch more fruit sweetness; it’s another good shiraz from the strong 2009 Hunter vintage.  Sadly, the “Stevens” vineyard this wine comes from has no connection to my family.

This entry was posted in Australian Wine, Barossa, Cabernet Sauvignon, Canberra, Coonawarra, Hunter Valley, Margaret River, McLaren Vale, Shiraz. Bookmark the permalink.

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