A nicely balanced Barossa Shiraz, the 2008 The Watcher avoids any sense of raisining or overripeness that may sometimes be found in wines from this vintage. Plum and savory notes are complemented by subtle oaking, and the overall impression is of ripe, creamy-textured fruit balanced by crisp acids. Drink now–2018.
This is a dark, earthier style of Barossa Shiraz, with savory notes of coffee and black olive versus the bold fruit found in other wines. There’s still plenty of blackberry and plum fruit, it’s just not as obvious and upfront. Turns slightly dusty on the finish, suggesting that this may be better with a year or two in the cellar.
Leaving aside the suggestive name and packaging, this is a very soft, almost pillowy-tender 80% Shiraz blend, with a fair bit of complexity. It starts with scents of hickory, cedar and vanilla, adds plum and black cherry fruit, then hints at espresso and black olive on the finish. Drink now.
This is an intriguing wine that underscores some of the overgeneralizations paid to Barossa Shiraz. Rather than making a big, fudgy, monolithic style, winemaker Rolf Binder has crafted a wine that’s complex and surprisingly light on its feet, marrying cherries with hints of wintergreen, spice and dried mushroom that linger elegantly on the finish.