Oakvale Single Vineyard Shiraz 2011

Stylish packaging, this one. I’ve never visited, but going by its website this producer looks to benefit from an exceptionally pretty cellar door, one that befits the history of the winery and the quality of its vineyard holdings (Stevens Vineyard, anyone?).

I first tasted this yesterday but felt it quite swamped with oak. Nice oak, mind, but it crept over deliciously regional Hunter fruit and assaulted every corner of the flavour profile with vanilla and cedar. A day has seen it subside, even as the fruit has itself undergone some changes. The nose is now pretty and soft-focus, edges of earthy prickle smoothed over by a more luscious collection of aromas, including better balanced but still noticeable oak. For my taste, it lacks definition and incisiveness, though it is undoubtedly correct and regional.

The palate, so oak dominant yesterday, has changed much the same as the aroma, now a more relaxed version of itself. It is medium bodied and quite fresh, with deceptively bright acid holding the wine together, structurally. I like the intensity of the fruit and the way it hits the tongue without heaviness. Berry flavours are relatively simple, a touch confected and end up tasting a bit flat. Loose knit, blocky tannins are a chewy influence through the lengthy finish.

There are certainly elements to admire in this wine; I just wish it were more detailed and a tad more sophisticated in flavour profile.

Price: $A45
Closure: Stelvin
Source: Sample

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