Picardy Shiraz 2005

Shiraz shiraz shiraz — it always amuses me to read accounts of Australian Shiraz as if it were a single, monolithic entity. If nothing else, the Hunter version will always be sitting out there on its own, stylistically. My point is that it can be misleading to talk about Australian Shiraz as a single wine style. Take this Picardy wine from the Pemberton region in Western Australia.

A transparent ruby colour, moderately deep. Striking nose that shows bright red cranberry-like fruit alongside pretty dried flowers (lavender) and peppery spice. The fruit is remarkable in that it mixes edges of intense sweetness with the sort of savoury character one encounters in dried fruit. It’s not very complex, but it is characterful and attractive. There’s a subtle undercurrent of vanilla oak.

The medium bodied palate shows a good continuity of flavour profile from the nose, but kicks it up to a slightly higher register. It’s bright, pretty and delicious. Entry is gentle but does deliver flavour quickly to the tongue. The mid-palate is full of more bright red fruit, and the floral/spice elements are more prominently balanced here than on the nose. As bright and high toned as it is, the wine’s palate shows an elegant smoothness that encourages drinking. There’s no harshness here, and it’s achieved through balance and harmony of flavour components. Acidity is present and supportive, yet very soft in character. Fine tannins are equally soft, and gently dry the acceptably long finish.

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