2013 Reserve Shiraz by Davey Family, McLaren Vale, Australia

Tonight’s occasion: 2013 Reserve Shiraz (D Block) by Davey Family, McLaren Vale, Australia.

Deep inky color. Big, fruit forward nose rich with plum and sweet cherry. There’s a hint of leather towards the back. The plum carries forward into a big structured moderately acidic slightly dry body. Not as fruit forward as the nose would suggest. A hint of minerality. The finish is even more massive with boat loads of tannic grip that fight for dominance eventually ceding to a long lasting spice. This wine is just now becoming approachable. It is a solid wine now, but given more time to fully develop, I can see it turning into a real masterpiece. I’d say 5-10 years from now. During my recent trip to Australia, I found that on the whole, wines from this region were top notch. This one is no exception. If you are looking for a real taste of Australia here in the US, head over to @totalwine and pick up one of these. This is a fine example of a Shiraz from Australia. πŸ·πŸ˜πŸ‘ŒπŸ½

 

2006 Shiraz by Massena, Barossa Valley, Australia

Tonight’s occasion: 2006 Shiraz (the eleventh hour) by Massena, Barossa Valley, Australia.

Deep rich color. Heavy nose rich with an intense leather and mushroom that hits you as soon as you uncork it. Once it breathes a little, a sweet cherry undertone reveals itself along with even more terroir. A few additional herbal notes I cannot pinpoint linger in the back along with old oak. Wow. The nose has so much going on. A thick, jammy, chewy body awaits. Characterized by a slight acidic prominence, smooth buttery tannins and plum essence. A smooth transition to a graceful finish capped by moderate spice and mild tannic grip.

This wine must have been a massive beast in its hay day, perhaps even borderline unapproachable just on the nose alone. However after 13 years of patience it has had time to fully develop and settle down into a big, bold, beautiful work of art. This my friends is a shining example of Shiraz from Barossa Valley. Well done! 😁🍷🍷🍷

The Winery, Sydney, Australia

After a few false starts at finding a proper establishment that took not just their wines but also their Australian wines seriously, I finally stumbled upon The Winery. I should have started here and so hopefully this post will help any fellow winesnobs out there get a decent start to their visit to this part of the world.

The Winery is a Wine Bar, “A quirky urban garden oasis in the heart of Surry Hills” and I would agree on all counts. It is also warm, welcoming, inviting, rustic, simple. It is as one would imagine, Australian. I was looking for a place where I could explore Australian wines. Hopefully small batch production, artisan wines. I realized this was a tall order for a big city like Sydney but I knew there had to be a few of them.

I wanted to get an overarching sense of what Australian wines are all about. There is such a thing. Similar to the overarching theme one refers to when they say “Big California Pinot” or “Napa Cab”. I also wanted to get a feel for the overall quality and hence maturity of the Australian wine industry overall.

Fortunately I arrived at the right time. They had just upgraded to a new tasting station which afforded many more wines to be available for tasting on demand. Once I explained what my objective was, my hostess was very gracious enough to let me explore wines and vintages previously unavailable for tasting.

All the Aussie wines I tried were good, well made wines. This is perhaps the single biggest overarching theme of this trip. See, in California, if you ask for an Aussie wine, you’ll most likely be presented with YellowTail… That’s like asking for a California wine and getting Gallo… Nuff said. Below are three wines that stood out the most for me as well as my notes from this outing.

2015 Cabernet Sauvignon by Tomfoolery

Slightly fruity nose with good berry, a little plum and oak. Restrained body, mild acidity, showing good balance, structure and moderate fruit. 14.5% ABV is unnoticeable. Smooth finishes, once opened develops long gentle tannic grip.

2018 Grenache by Tarot

Clean crisp wine. But this is an illusion. This is a bid powerful wine. At 14.9% ABV, an iron fist in a velvet glove. Nose subdued with hints of strawberry, oak, cherry and the faintest of earth in the background. Oak and cherry carry through the body, introducing heat and mild tannin. A surprising amount of structure once opened. Finish throws a fake as massive spice and tannin make a late entrance towards the end. This wine is no joke. If this Tarot is any indication of your fortunes, you’d better buckle-up. 😳

2014 Shiraz by Gaelic Cemetery Vineyard

 

Trying to read this wine is akin to stepping up to an old brick building and trying to sniff the bricks. It just won’t work. The nose is very reserved, giving only hints of berry, faint raisin, cherry. Leather, mineral, licorice and black currant only momentarily when swirled vigorously. This wine does not like to be disturbed. A massive tightly integrated body proves a challenge to pick apart. Minerality is pronounced. Very structured, inky, earthy come to mind. The finish quickly gives way to super heavy massive granite tannic grip that just won’t quit! I think I just found my new favorite Aussie wine! 😭🍷