I like the idea of this wine. Its fruit is sourced from a single estate vineyard in the (I believe undeclared) Darling Downs region of Queensland. The region was an important centre for winemaking at the turn of last century, so there’s some provenance at work here.
I admit to having no experience of Shiraz from this or any other producer in the area, so I’ve no preconceived ideas as to flavour profile or style. Which can be a little anxiety-producing when it comes to tasting. I’m not sure if anyone else finds this, but having no immediate context in which to place a wine recalls, in a sense, Sartre’s nausée. It’s always more comforting to know what to expect.
To the wine itself, the nose shows fresh juicy plums, some vegetal or stalky influences, and a high toned note that is not quite white pepper. There’s also a bit of vanilla oak. Not complex but very lively and quite distinctive. It’s also a bit angular, as if the Other Mother’s spindly hands from Coraline are reaching out of the glass to poke at your nostrils.
The palate reflects many of these impressions in the way it is put together. There are, individually, some attractive elements. The fruit flavour in particular is really vibrant and fresh, with good depth and clarity. There’s also spice and some higher toned stalky notes (not sure if the winemaking included an element of whole bunches). I like this expression of Shiraz; it’s built for tasty quaffing. But I’m struggling with the structure here. It feels clunky and disjointed and really needs some time to settle down. Spiky acidity is the most prominent influence, contributing excitement but also fatigue after a few sips. Tannins are quite dry and even, though a tad raw too, ensuring good thrust and persistence through the finish. The alcohol is unbalanced, with perceptible heat on the palate and a roundness to the mouthfeel that doesn’t quite match the wine’s flavour density and profile. One longs for a less pumped up presence that enables great gulps of tasty Shiraz flavour.
A mixed experience, then, but full of promise too. There’s real merit to the fruit in this wine, and I’d love to see a more balanced expression of its flavours.