Ishtar Grenache Shiraz Mourvèdre 2008

Really curious flavour profile here. Looking back over my notes, I found the 2006‘s fruit character quite sweet, though tempered by spice and meatiness. This wine, all other things being equal, presents a rebalanced set of flavours, tilting further towards savouriness, though retaining hints of the fun, playful Grenache fruit of its predecessor. I like it.

The nose takes some time to blossom. When it does, it shows quite complex aromas of malt, cough syrup, red fruit and twigs. I found it a little confronting at first. I suppose it’s not the kind of aroma profile one expects in a sub-$20 wine, possessing considerable character and feeling somehow risky. Does it all come together? I’m not sure. It’s certainly fun to smell. It will probably polarise drinkers too, perhaps alienating those who prefer a straighter set of aromas. 
The palate retains the moderate intensity of the 2006, while reflecting the complexity of the aroma. Entry is subtle, ushering in little bombs of sweet fruit on the mid-palate, framed by sappy, meaty flavours and underpinned by a softly viscous mouthfeel. This is a light to medium bodied wine, brightly flavoured, unapologetically funky. The after palate is savoury, with medicinal flavours over the top of pepper steak. Finish is sappy and astringent.
A cubist rendition of Barossa GSM. 
Update: another unexpected trait for a wine of this modest price — it tastes even better on day two. Markedly better balance and integration of flavours. A really pleasant surprise!

Balthazar of the Barossa
Price: $A19.50
Closure: Other
Source: Sample

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