Tyrrell's Old Patch Shiraz 2009

I got my Tyrrell’s mailer the other day advertising the 2010 Private Bin reds. It reminded me that I hadn’t yet tasted the 09 Old Patch, so I made a point of pulling it out at the first opportunity. The 2007 Old Patch was a dense, somewhat forbidding wine on release, so I was pleased to see this present much more expressively, even after being open for only a short while. Two days on, it has flowered more completely, allowing this wine’s essential contradiction — a muscular flavour profile combined with a delicacy of structure and weight — to become clear.

The nose is perhaps best described as cubist, presenting both sharp graphite and iron filings with pungent florals and crisp cranberry fruit, clearly dimensioned and drawn with considerable detail. The oak is subtle and feels old, more nougat and peanuts than spice and coffee. Some regional dirt rounds out the aroma profile.

The palate is only medium bodied with a firm structure based on a line of driving, orange juice acid. There’s no much point dissecting flavour components as such; the wine tastes whole, seamless and well-textured,  with impeccable balance. What it’s not is sensational, and it would be easy to underestimate what this brings in terms of quality and longevity. But in its own way, this is as impressive, if not more so, than the 2007, trading outright power for a rare elegance and clarity.

How it will age is both a little curious and tremendously exciting; I’d love to see this in twenty years’ time. Perhaps I’ll make it my mission to do so.

Price: $A45
Closure: Stelvin
Source: Retail

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