I burned my mouth on soup today. Aside from causing me to wonder why on Earth I chose to drink hot soup on an almost-Summer Brisbane day, my tongue is now less than sensitive to the more subtle, textural nuances of this wine. I find the more I taste it, however, the more discerning I become (a fact not unique to this wine, or so it often seems).
It takes a few minutes to get going. On the nose, considerable complexity of spice-like notes overlaying rich, plummy fruit and sleek oak. Somehow, I’m reminded of modernist Californian residential architecture; think Richard Neutra. Clean, spatial and coherent, but with a sense of warmth missing from some harsher intepretations of the International style (and, in the vinous context, of cooler climate Shiraz). This is certainly well-formed and harmonious, and keeps getting better in the glass.
The palate is all class, showing a particularly compelling texture thanks to some bloody good tannins. Totally controlled on entry, dark plum fruit flavour leaps forward first, followed by a gush of spice and more of the cedar oak. It’s medium bodied at most, and presents as both delicate and confident. Everything comes together on the middle palate, which shows a unified flavour profile underlined by a blanket of sweet, ripe, powdery tannins. There’s also what seems to me like a thread of minerality running through the core of this that is fascinating. Fruit takes a liqueur-like turn through the after palate, and the finish is both dry and fruit-sweet at the same time.
Very Canberra, very classy. Just like me.