This wine’s legend precedes it. For those not aware, the back label summarises its story: after hail destroyed Bannockburn’s 1998 estate Shiraz crop, a whole range of other wineries sent in their Shiraz grapes for inclusion in this wine. Hence the South Eastern Australia appelation. A real one-off cuvée and the sort of vinous curiosity that’s arguably more interesting to think about than taste.
The nose shows a flamboyant aroma profile of equal parts soil and aged leather, with some stale spice thrown in. To be honest, it comes across as a little funky and not especially clean, but to my taste these aren’t issues per se. Whatever your tolerance for wilder aromas, there’s no arguing this wine makes an immediate statement.
Good weight on entry, with slightly DMS-like blackcurrant fruit and good presence overall. Some stalky overtones establish the character and style of the wine. It seems full bodied at this stage. The mid-palate feels lush and resolved, but just as one relaxes into things, the after palate introduces quite drying tannins. These attenuate the wine’s nascent expansiveness and pinch its sense of scale. So its line is akin to a wedge, narrowing as it approaches the finish, and hollowing out somewhat in terms of fruit weight too. The finish feels a little “inside out,” as it’s dry with a notable absence of fruit weight.
Not an especially elegant wine, and perhaps past its best. I’m glad I tasted it, though. Wines like these add a welcome note of quirkiness to the local wine scene.
Date tasted: September 2008