There are several things that drew me towards this wine. Firstly, it garnered some serious bling at the recent NSW Small Winemakers Wine Show. Three trophies or thereabouts. In reading a bit more about the producer, I discovered this is only the second vintage ever of Shiraz, from vines planted in 2004 and 2005. On the face of it, then, a list price of $35 seems quite ambitious: no provenance, young vines, and so forth. My skepticism was, I admit, active.
If ever a wine proved that it’s what’s in the glass that counts, it’s this. Simply put, it’s a serious, distinctive, fascinating cool climate Shiraz that instantly marks this maker as one to watch. The aroma starts a little reductive, but this stink quickly blows off to reveal a cascade of dried flowers, spice, pepper, meat and savoury black fruit. Its character is forthright and confident, leaping from the glass, not at all afraid to flaunt a cool climate profile that dares the drinker to look past plush fruit.
The palate is equally distinctive, sharing the nose’s savoury character while adding a subtly handled palate structure and gently modulating texture. Flavours are pure cool climate: spice, meat, dried cranberries, dark fruits. A good whack of vanilla oak is the most obvious input from its maker; otherwise, this has the sort of distinctive fruit character that I strongly associate with single site wines, a kind of positive exaggeration that is so beautiful. Mouthfeel moves between silky smooth and gently tannic, suggesting sophisticated luxe. A nice long finish cruises on savoury dark fruits.
Excellent cool climate Shiraz, and a great example of what Orange is capable of.