Tyrrell's Johnno's Shiraz 2009

The obviousness of a showy wine makes it easy to write about, whether positively or negatively. Such styles get a reaction, they force you to take sides and, if you care about discussing wine in terms beyond “I like it,” to explain why.

This wine, on the other hand, has me scratching my head, not because I don’t like it (I do), but because no matter how hard I try, I find it difficult to write about in terms that adequately communicate its pleasures. I suspect this is in part because it’s an easy wine to enjoy; it dodges every attempt I make to see it as difficult. The nose gives up everything it’s got without much effort on the drinker’s part and, while there’s plenty of complexity to the aroma profile, the dominant notes provide easy regional comfort: leather and dirt, red cherries, sit-on-my-lap nougat oak, a surprising lilt of white pepper.

In the mouth, these flavours flow easily over the tongue; it’s quite spectacular how this manages to deliver the goods without any apparent effort. Part of it is architectural; light bodied and lightly structured, this isn’t formless so much as waifishly elegant. Acid makes the biggest textural impression through the after palate, giving life to the palate and drawing out the best in its transparent, squeaky red fruit. Yet the wine fights against analytical tasting and, as I sip it now, I have trouble getting past how gorgeously drinkable it is. It’s clean and sunny and not overdone in any way, a wine for drinking, not sipping, smiles of appreciation, not problematics.

I like it.

Update: two days on and it’s really singing. Still like it. Maybe even love it.

Tyrrell’s Wines
Price: $A45
Closure: Stelvin
Source: Retail

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