Chapel Hill The Chosen Road Block Shiraz 2009

One for the tannin freaks. Interestingly, I had this with a robust lamb and rosemary pie and, after initially thinking it would be a good companion because of all that fabulous structure, it ended up being the least interesting food match of the three wines I had before me at the time (one of the others being the Tyrrell’s Old Patch just reviewed).

The aroma has quite strong fermentation esters that take a while to blow off. I like fermentation esters, so this made me smile, but give it some time to discover its true character. The purple sweetness of youth never quite goes away, which is an interesting foil to the dark, dense, somewhat savoury, relatively oak-heavy profile that settles with some time and air. It’s one of those wines that seems to have oodles of power and bulk in reserve, not fully expressing itself, but looming over you, so you’re always aware it’s there. The oak character is well matched to the fruit, contributing coffee grinds and dark spice to the fruit’s ripe, rich, dark character.

The palate is only medium bodied, which again provides an interesting framework in which the dense fruit can sit. Tannins are simply gorgeous in a modern way – majorly prominent, ultra fine, blankety, sweet, delicious. They really do dominate the experience of this wine right now, which is no bad thing – it’s a fun wine to drink, and though it initially begs for food, it ends up being way richer, deeper and more of a mouthful than any “food wine” needs to be. A streak of red berry soars above it all, giving the after palate light and nuance. Ultimately, some nuance, a bit more light and shade, would complete this wine, but in its style it is a lovely drink.

Chapel Hill
Price: $A55
Closure: Stelvin
Source: Gift

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