Tar & Roses Heathcote Shiraz 2007

I bought this on the combined basis of a good write-up at the Wine Front site and my ongoing desire to spend less money on wine (it clocked in at a modest $15.20 at the local Dan Murphy’s). Ever in search of a bargain, we wine lovers. Let’s face it, though, wine is an expensive pastime. Sometimes I feel I’d be better off getting my kicks from composting or decoupage or, really, anything fundamentally inspired by recycling.

Happily, this Shiraz provides a lot of pleasure. There’s a lot going on in the glass and, if I were to provide a two word description (through brevity, for better or worse, isn’t one of my talents), it would be “well judged.” Everything clicks into place and feels right. It would seem overly calculated if it weren’t so tasty. The aroma profiles straddles sweet and savoury with aplomb, showing equal doses of sweet dark fruit, pepper, moist leafiness, minerality and bubble-gum oak. It’s hedonistic and inviting. As nice as it is, though, the palate takes things up a notch. Perhaps too much sweet fruit for my taste, but no-one could accuse this wine of lacking flavour. Medium bodied, this wine’s flavour registers early and flows elegantly to a mid palate awash with sweet fruit and savoury complexities. Delicious ripe blackberry takes over on the after palate and lingers through a satisfying finish. There’s something rather beguiling about the way this wine feels in the mouth. It’s elegant and beautifully supple and just tannic enough.

A bit of a fruit bomb, then, but just the wine to provide some relief after a hard day’s work. Drink now with comfort food and much pleasure.

Tar & Roses
Price: $A15.20
Closure: Stelvin
Date tasted: October 2008

4 thoughts on “Tar & Roses Heathcote Shiraz 2007

  1. Hi Julian. Interesting tasting notes. I too took the plunge on this wine after CM’s review as well. Whilst agreeing with the essential components of your tasting notes, it did a bit better in my books and I wonder if that isn’t attributable to my expectations.
    I really don’t enjoy Heatchcote shiraz, with the exception of Vinea Marson, finding its flavours too bombastic and particualarly its entry or front palate just too fruit sweet.
    I felt the Tar and Roses managed, through well judged oak and savoury tannins, to keep that almost medicinal sweetness of so many Heathcote Shiraz bubbling beneath the surface to produce a wine of regionality and finessse for just $15.
    Looking back at my notes and accessing my palate memory, I think I probably reacted more favouribly because I didn’t get what I’m used to from so much “cheaperer” Heathcote shiraz, that is, just a “fruitbomb”. Having said that, I do realise what you are getting at using the term as a descriptor for this wine.
    Anyway, enough from me Julian. Kind Regards till next time

    • Thanks for your insightful comments. I enjoyed this wine a lot, even though I tend to react quite negatively to any hint of sweet, oversimplified fruit flavour. As you say, this wine avoids an excess of these flavours whilst still presenting a good dose of regional fruit character. At the end of the day, when I next feel like a wine in this style, I will certainly consider another bottle of Tar & Roses. I particularly enjoyed the elegance of its mouthfeel. Really seductive.

  2. Good to read this review, it makes me a lot happier that I shelled out for half a dozen of these. Although at 2 for $30 at VC’s it was not going to break the bank.

    The only bottle I opned took about an hour an a half to show anything, but when it did there was, like you say, a lot going on. By the next day the tannin attack was pretty fierce, and the flavour had fleshed out a bit.

    I think this will be good in about five years+, and I think people who keep it will be richly rewarded.

    • G’day Julian 🙂

      Thanks for providing some insight in how this wine looked the day after. I must admit I didn’t even think of leaving it for longer than it took to finish the bottle, as I found it delicious now, but it’s certainly at a level of quality where one would be justified in cellaring it for some increased complexity. It’s interesting to me that the tannins became more assertive with some air. In the bottle I tasted, they were lovely and fine but certainly in balance. Another positive indicator for cellaring, perhaps.


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