Domaine Tournon (Chapoutier) Western Victoria Shiraz or Syrah 2008

I bought this wine because:

  • it’s labelled “Shiraz or Syrah,” a conceit that one hopes was motivated by a heavy dose of French Theory but which, alas, is probably a lot more prosaic in intent;
  • its cork seal looks decidedly out of place on a wine at this price point; and 
  • the geographic indication is simply “Western Victoria.”

This last point intrigued me, and some lazy Googling leads me to suspect the fruit is sourced from the Pyrenees. If so, one wonders why it wasn’t labelled as such. Perhaps this rather ambitiously named Australian region might have caused confusion in the old country.

In any case, enough metavinosity. The wine itself is decent enough and is improving in the glass. On the nose, a pepper steak vibe mixes with dark, juicy plum fruit and some eucalypt. It’s very clean and fresh, though tending towards anonymity in character. There’s something boring about its cleanly defined, simple fruit flavours that may alienate those looking for more personality.

The palate is consistent with this impression, offering good volumes of plum juice in the context of an easygoing, fresh structure. Medium bodied, there’s plenty of flavour and a bit of detail around the edges. The after palate becomes more textured and complex, though the wine never sheds its core of simple fruit flavour. Some heat on the finish along with a lift of mint.

A pretty solid wine at this price, showing hints of regional character without ever threatening to become too interesting. Cork, though; seriously?

Domaine Tournon (Chapoutier)
Price: $A16.15
Closure: Cork
Source: Retail

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