A Sangiovese Shiraz blend from Beechworth.
This wine raised a lot of questions for me – on the role of blending, on whether a wine is worth ageing, on what is value for money. It also had quite a few of the answers once I came to terms with it.
For me, on the basis of this wine and a couple of others (notably the much cheaper Pizzini), Shiraz and Sangiovese are undoubtedly synergistic companions. The way aromas intertwine on the nose here is very exciting. Orange peel, almond meal, tonka bean – it all begins to smell rather like a Guerlain concoction before a big hit of nougat and vanilla oak reminds me it’s for drinking, not just smelling.
The palate is sinewy and intricate, with an array of sensational, intense flavours. Black pepper, dried cherries, unfolding ferns, dark fruit. The fruit character reminds me of the strange little dried things my grandmother used to hide inside dumplings on Chinese New Year – savoury, dehydrated and intensely juicy at the same time. This seems designed to age in that its flavours hint at the sort of complexities that will develop with some time in bottle without yet possessing any such notes. Quite the opposite of a sweetly fruited wine whose vibe might contest developed flavours. Medium bodied, the structure is particularly sophisticated, with acidity blending beautifully into fabric of the wine, and chalky tannins providing textural counterpoint through the after palate.
An intellectual, strong, elegantly masculine wine. Classical sculpture and proportion. Just lovely.