First, provenance. I ended up with this bottle of wine (amongst others) courtesy of the Sydney Royal Wine Show, as a “thank you” for stewarding. The thing is, I can’t find out anything about it other than the fact that it won a silver medal at the 2008 Show. Nothing on the Wolf Blass website. So if you’re after some of this wine — sorry, can’t help you. Unless some of our readers (or the producer) can enlighten us all, of course.
It’s quite a tasty wine, though difficult too. The nose seems mostly influenced by winemaking rather than fruit — savoury mealiness, sweet vanilla oak, a touch of caramel. All pretty delicious if you don’t mind fruit flavours that take a complementary role in the overall profile. The fruit itself is lovely — white peach mostly — but oh-so subservient. Interestingly, this isn’t a totally juggy wine, and there’s enough of a funky thread to the aroma to present as challenging too.
In the mouth, some surprises. It’s not flabby at all, nicely propped up by acid in fact, and I am finding the fruit more prominent here than on the nose, at least initially. The attack is alive and crisp thanks to the acid, creating an impression of vibrant, fresh fruit, but this momentum isn’t maintained because the intensity of the fruit dips quickly as the wine moves towards the middle palate. It’s like a little explosion that disappears from view before you’ve finished taking in the effect. Is the fruit receding, or is the wine perhaps going through a stage? Who knows. Just as disappointment threatens to settle in, things pick up again on the after palate, though flavours here are more oak-driven. Classy oak, to be sure, but a bit blunt too. The finish slides into caramel and oat meal, and feels a bit hot to me.
Overall it seems a bit awkward and gangly, and it may be that I’m drinking it at a disadvantageous point in its trajectory.