I didn’t buy any Vat 8 this year, so with this note I conclude my tastings of new release Tyrrell’s reds. Unlike the 4 Acres and Old Patch, this wine is still available from cellar door.
A riotously fragrant wine that, when first poured, smelled for all the world like a Central Otago Pinot. Sweet earthiness, though, gives the regional game away. I’m finding the aroma profile a little difficult to describe. It’s floral and shows confident, yet lightfooted, plum fruit, some spice and dustiness of the sort one usually associates more with neglected cupboards than wine. It’s quite high toned and complex, and (to me) delicious.
The palate continues the nose’s generosity. Tingly, fresh acidity hits the tongue and awakens it to a subsequent wave of bright red fruit and sweet spice. Body is light to medium, but intensity is considerable. Flavours of sour plum, spice and licorice allsorts coat the tongue, helped by a mouthfeel that moderates acidic prickles with a fine velvet caress. There’s some drop off on the after palate, as the wine’s acidity tends to overwhelm the fruit flavour somewhat. The finish, however, goes on and on.
It’s quite approachable now, but I suspect this wine will fill out in the most delicious manner with some bottle age. For my taste, and for all its complexity and sophistication, it needs some depth in the lower registers to be truly complete. That should come with patience on my part. The only real disappointment here is a label design that has abandoned its retro origins at time when a baroque aesthetic couldn’t be hotter. Shame.
Date tasted: September 2008