Tyrrell's 4 Acres Shiraz 2007

This label seems to have gathered quite a following over its short life. I count myself amongst its fans. Ever since Gary Walsh created a stir with his review on Winorama, I’ve been particularly excited to taste the 2007 vintage.

The most lovely purple-red hue, deep and moderately dense. To smell, it’s very “4 Acres” but in an altogether deeper register. The characteristically pretty red and blue fruit is there yet, compared to previous vintages, it  demonstrates greater, quite extraordinary extension into the bass octaves. With only minimal swirling, an array of other aromas; earth, minerals, purple flowers, the slightest hint of gum leaf; emerge to create significant complexity. There’s also a slightly funky, barnyard dimension that strikes me as essentially regional, though very much secondary. I’ve been smelling this for a good half hour now and remain fascinated by each twist and turn the wine takes.

To the palate, then. So much goes on here, and it’s so attractive, I find it hard to respond analytically. But I’ll try. First, the acid. Structurally, this wine is driven by acid rather than tannin, so the acid’s quality is both critical and highly exposed. The attack is not overwhelming in this regard; instead, acidity builds linearly over the tongue, like a wedge that opens up from front to back of the mouth. It’s finely textured, three dimensional, and would be enough on its own to make a lesser wine worthwhile.

But it’s not on its own here. Flavours that precisely echo the nose run in and around the acidity, winding their way across the palate. The 4 Acres is always intense and finely etched but, as with the nose, there’s a density and depth here that goes beyond my previous experience of this wine. Body is also up on previous vintages. When you add acid to the mix, the effect is not unlike the richest textured velvet caressing one’s tongue. Silt-like, ripe tannins make a contribution to this texture. There’s a climax of acidity on the after palate, and then it all relaxes into a shapely finish that goes on for some time. Sensuous, complex and delicious.

If I were to highlight one quality this wine possesses above all others, it would be an immaculate line. From initial smell to lingering finish, there’s a sense of wholeness and integrity here that unifies each individual component and delivers a wine that, in the end, has its own philosophy. Whether you enjoy it as much as I do will, I suspect, hinge on whether you can relate to its point of view. It had me enthralled.

Price: $A35
Closure: Stelvin
Date tasted: August 2008

8 thoughts on “Tyrrell's 4 Acres Shiraz 2007

  1. I was very sad when we arrived at the cellar door only to discover they had sold out of the 2007 vintage the weekend before, sounds like my cup of tea / wine too!

  2. Yes, it seemed to sell out in rather a hurry! I guess the limited production has a lot to do with it, although its reputation, too, is surely increasing. I’ve been wondering whether I should put in a standing order…

  3. Thanks for the link, GW. I’m very sure of this wine’s quality, though to be fair I’ve not yet tried the Old Patch or Vat 9 (both sitting in the “wine room” at the moment). Let alone the Stevens.

    It’s tempting to think this wine is wholly a result of the 4 Acres vineyard, but what struck me this time around was how sensitive and attuned is the winemaking. It suits the quality and character of the fruit perfectly – no prominence of oak, balanced extract, just enough funkiness. Very well judged.

    By the way, did you notice the comments for Class 5? 😉

  4. Yep, I was too slow and cash flow not so good when this wine went off on Winorama, so none in my cellar. My brother has promised to crack one for my 40th though…never thought I’d say this about hitting 40 but can’t wait! Cheers jeremy

  5. Just finished reading the link for the wine show from GW. Class 5 comments, and the whole thing very interesting. I have an aversion to wine shows but do not know enough about the industry to understand their amount of importance.
    Re: Class 5, there is something I want to write on wine shows and “Consentual Reality”, where it would end up (ie blog,submission,assignment) who knows, but along with what you have stated about “lesser” vintages and another idea on Wine in a “Social” context, I will be busy scibbling notes as I work my way around Vic. If anything does get submitted, I will ask for your permission beforehand as you have helped me in a number of ways to think about each of these. If its a blog, well no-one will probably read it anyway, but I can dream.
    Best wishes Julian and look forward to having a proper look at the Full Pour in a week and a half. jeremy

  6. Hi Jeremy, sounds like you’re doing some serious thinking there. I’d love to see the result, wherever you end up publishing it.

    I hope you have a good wine trip in Victoria.


  7. I was fortunate enough to get the ’07 4 Acres, Old Patch and Vat 9.
    I basically bought them on reputation as I have been drinking Tyrrell’s since 1968. I recall the 1979 Vat 9 being entirely from the 4 Acre vineyard and it was it’s centenary of planting. It was a wonderful wine that together with a Tyrrell’s 1966 Vat 84 were among the best Hunters I have had the pleasure of drinking.

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