Tyrrell's Vat 9 Shiraz 2006

I loved the previous vintage of this wine, so it was with some anticipation that I opened this bottle, the current vintage.

Tyrrell’s has really been hitting its straps on the red wine front of late, with some sensational ’03s, ’05s and even some good ones from the problematic 2004 vintage (I really enjoyed the 2004 Vat 5 NVC Shiraz). This wine struck me as rather different to the 2005. Whilst my last bottle of ’05 was extravagantly fragrant, this one was a little more reserved.

Actually, on opening, it was a bit stinky (sulfur?), and it took a few minutes of swirling to help this blow off and reveal clean, slightly stewy red, plum-like fruit with savoury spices. The wine’s entry promises greater things, with its smooth and elegant delivery of the wine’s middle palate. It is here that the wine finally starts to sing, the same slightly odd plummy fruit gaining in intensity and sweetness. The palate is medium bodied and quite dense in flavour, mouthfilling without being heavy at all. The wine’s acidity also contributes some freshness in the mouth and a nice sourness to the flavour. For my taste, the acidity is a bit too relaxed in character, even though it’s quite “present” in quantity. Tannins are fine and not especially dominant, so it is primarily acid that is left to carry the wine through an after palate and finish of satisfying length.

This is a lovely wine of elegant structure and generous flavour, but for me there’s a slight question mark over the stewed character of the fruit. I prefer the 2005 on the basis of this bottle. I will, however, follow the evolution of this wine with interest. I note it continued to gain in intensity and complexity as we worked our way through the bottle, and went very well with our dinner of steak and vegetables.

Price: $A32 (early release, cellar door)
Closure: Cork
Date tasted: November 2007

3 thoughts on “Tyrrell's Vat 9 Shiraz 2006

  1. A double magnum! Now that’s a serious bottle! Wonderful to haul out at dinner parties, I imagine.

    My note is probably a bit harsh on this wine, and in fact I enjoyed it a great deal. I’m going to grab another bottle from the stash and retaste before too long, as part of me suspects this bottle was a bit “odd” – the fruit character in particular is not what I’d normally expect from Hunter Shiraz. If good bottles of this are even better than the 2005 version, it is indeed a very special wine.

    Welcome to the site, too 🙂


  2. I’m finally retasting this, and I suspect my first bottle was atypical. This one has a more typically Hunter fruit character, fragrant vanilla oak and what tastes like some whole bunch complexity too. Having said that, my notes around elegance and structure remain consistent with this second tasting. There’s a drive and persistence to this wine’s fruit through the mid and after palates that is extremely impressive. An excellent Hunter Shiraz.

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