A 5% addition of Viognier has helped to round out the mouthfeel of this top-notch Hunter Valley Shiraz. Aromas of black olive and espresso and complemented by layers of toast and vanilla, while the flavors add blueberry and raspberry notes. Long and mouthwatering on the finish. Drink now–2015.
Hunter Valley Shiraz is somewhat out of fashion here in the U.S., but this is an excellent example of the genre, one that can be taken home and enjoyed tonight. It starts with intense, smoky, pungent leathery aromas, and the fruit is more leathery than fruity in character, yet there’s compelling complexity in this medium-bodied, silky-textured wine. Drink now-2015.
The nose is intriguing, with some root beer and horsehide. The mouth offers a ton of plum fruit with tobacco nuances, and then the finish is smooth and of good length. The body is heavy and full, like many an Oz Shiraz, but it’s also packed with the vital acidity needed to keep it fresh. —M.S.
Very rich and extracted, with a bright purple hue and legs that could run. The nose is broad and overtly woody, with barnyard nuances adding an interesting and needed rustic touch. The palate offers some burnt or baked fruit and a jolt of espresso, while the finish is smooth and not unlike Port. Best for fans of the thick and rich. —M.S.
A hint of eucalyptus gives this wine’s blackberry fruit a slightly medicinal quality, while black-olive notes provide darkness and depth. The tannins impart a texture somewhere between creamy and silky, remaining somewhat firm on the finish. There is considerable sediment, so decant before serving.
A controversial wine among our panelists. The majority found it offered little more than sweet-sour fruit, licorice and oak, but others called it rich and velvety, with creamy fruit and a long finish.