Mitchell Harris Shiraz 2009

Unlike the unusual Sangiovese just reviewed, this wine represents a classic Pyrenees style and one that drinkers will approach with justifiably high expectations. As with all regions in the Western Victoria Zone, the Pyrenees seems to be both highly regarded and perennially underrated, the kind of place wine nerds go nuts over but one that seems to lack the profile of many other Australian regions, large and small. This is certainly a true example of the style, the aroma throwing typically rich, dark fruit and the characteristic note of eucalypt that polarises some. For me, it adds a rustic, slightly hard edge to the aroma profile that is neither positive nor particularly negative; it’s just regional. Here, it is augmented by some evident whole bunch fermentation, which meshes well with the greener aspects of the aroma. There’s a prickliness too that adds complexity and dimension, leading further down through more clean, liquid fruit to a base of well-balanced, straightforward oak. A dash of Viognier makes itself felt through a pretty lift of florals, not enough to corrupt the character of the wine but certainly noticeable.The palate is generous without being in any way outsize. Entry is superbly clean, a lovely dash of savoury berry fruit flooding the mouth and gaining complexity along the way. Sexy oak, eucalyptus, stalk, vanilla; it’s all very easy to drink without being simple or confected. The palate structure is relatively easygoing, cruising along nicely until late in the after palate, where a firmer skeleton of tannin finally emerges, lightly drying the mouth and adding textural interest. The finish is a tad hard right now, with what seems like stalk contributing a rawness to the mouthfeel.  This might benefit from a short rest in bottle — perhaps a year or two — to settle and lose its edge. Rather delicious wine. Mitchell Harris
Price: $A29.95
Closure: Stelvin
Source: Sample

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