This is the kind of wine I’d usually consume soon after release, in expectation of the sort of plush fruit that can carry 15% ABV; it’s interesting to try this now, after a little time in bottle. That a sub-$20 wine can age few years shouldn’t be taken for granted, so I’m pleased to note this is, at the very least, still very drinkable.
Whether it’s preferable now compared to as a youngster is less sure. There are definite signs of decay here, starting with an aroma that is somewhat liquerous, overlaid with autumn leaves and leather. It’s relaxed, speaking of middle age rather than boisterous youth, perhaps having lost the naive enthusiasm that can make Barossa reds so attractive on release. My only complaint is a thinness to the aroma profile, as if it has lost a tad too much stuffing.
The palate confirms these mixed impressions, from fruit character to leanness of profile. Overall, it’s a dark, brooding wine, treading on the right side of portiness while flowing over the mouth in a surprisingly elegant, quite seamless way. Acid and tannin are both fairly relaxed, creating plenty of space for a clean expression of gently ageing fruit to flow down the line. I wish there were a bit more roundness to the palate structure, more fullness of fruit, because its tendency towards leanness exposes the alcohol, which circles back around to further compress the fruit. It’s also pleasantly warm, though, and a hint of mixed herbs adds to the impression of rustic comfort.
Kurtz Family Vineyards