Having last tasted this wine in 2008, I felt it was high time to crack another bottle and see how it’s tracking. The short answer is: very well indeed.
The nose is a little muted, though some encouragement via swirling releases dense, liquerous fruit aromas that suggest dark plums and black berries. What’s especially gratifying, though, is a sense of definite bottle age that runs through every aroma, adding complexity and decaying elegance. Tobacco, leather, earth; this is just so regional.
The nose’s casual whisperings give way to a full-throttle expression of Hunter Shiraz on the palate, packed with density, impact and, happily, freshness. This is absolutely in the zone for my taste: it doesn’t want for primary fruit and structure, yet the tertiary notes are in full flower too. Flavours span a wide range: minerals, dark berries, earth leather, spice, tobacco. Structure remains firm and highly textural, slightly rough acid giving the line flow and sparkle, silty tannins contributing volume and texture.
As per my previous note, this is in some respects an atypical Hunter Shiraz, lacking the measured body and fleet flavours of some. But it’s a compelling view into the region in its own right and shows how great this style can be at the seasonal extremes. I’m thoroughly enjoying this.