Eloquesta by Stuart Olsen Shiraz Petit Verdot 2010

Unbeknownst to me at the time of writing my note, the 2009 edition of this wine seems to have become something of a favourite amongst wine tweeters and bloggers. I admit to having mixed feelings about it, finding it more worthy than achieved. The refreshingly honest notes that came with this sample suggest 2010 was a difficult year, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. To my surprise, I prefer this in many ways to the 2009, and am intrigued to taste more in a way that I wasn’t after trying the earlier vintage.

What it comes down to is that this wine, despite superficially similar characters (presumably due to some of the same winemaking techniques), shows quite a different view of the fruit, one that is more subdued and subtle. It’s also more savoury, a fact the nose immediately establishes, as some cheerfully sweet fruit is quickly swept aside by waves of stalk and oak, the latter happily less intrusive in character than in the prior vintage. It still smells home made, but it’s also less chaotic, more resolved.

The palate carries these good qualities through. It’s rough-hewn like its predecessor, but the fruit’s calmer demeanour suggests a sophistication that, to me, is a real step up. Good flow through the middle palate, all dark fruits and spice, before tannic texture kicks in on the after palate. The structure here is very well balanced, with enough grip and astringency to please wine nerds without demanding much, if any, extra time in bottle. The fruit, darker though it is, could still use a notch more complexity. A nice, sharp finish, fruit and oak flavours carrying right through the back palate.

Can less than ideal growing conditions bring out a more interesting side to the fruit? It’s hard to generalise, but I feel it’s the case here.

Eloquesta by Stuart Olsen
Price: $A28
Closure: Stelvin
Source: Sample

2 thoughts on “Eloquesta by Stuart Olsen Shiraz Petit Verdot 2010

  1. Hello Julian,

    Excellent brief, and very fair. Thank you.
    And there is a very good reason for this softness lushness that came with the fruit. And it is simply, that when the rain came, i wanted the berrys to desiccate a little so i just let the fruit hang! we couldnt get onto pick, so i had to leave it to dry out – both the ground and the vines, and the berrys shrivelled. It did, and we got this dry spell after the rain that was magical, so left for a few weeks and the berrys concentrated, and the dry time let the tannins really ripen making them silky and soft and rich. But there was an extra softness that comes with that vintage because of so much cloud cover and rain, and i would have rathered alot more flavour and depth than i did.
    But the 2009 and the 2010 are very different wines but still they both have a fragrance that says they are from the same stable – but so different in texture. As well the warmth that i got in the end of 2010, meant my ferments were warmer, which meant a little more extraction, but i lost some of those delicate esters and fragrance that i had with the 2009. It is amazing the difference you get from the two vintages – and yes, because i am a small producer, i can be intimate with small details like when i should could or can pick and what difference it makes . . . . thats why this year – i am waiting to pick my shiraz just after the full moon at full ripeness, where my fruit, seeds and stems are very very ripe as i just tasted yesterday (very very happy)
    What can i say, when you make a wine every year, they carry the pride that comes with being a father – they are all different, they all have their faults and failings and gifts – but you love them all.
    Things will continue to improve with my wines. My 2011 and 2012 will tell this i hope.

    Thank you for your support

    Stuart Olsen
    Eloquesta Wines

    • Hi Stuart,

      Thanks for this insight into your wines – I’d never have guessed the 2010’s structure was due to extended hang time. Certainly, the flavour profile hasn’t suffered. I see what you mean about a relative lack of delicate, high toned flavours compared to the 2009, but to my palate it’s really resolved, stylistically.

      I look forward to the 2011 and 2012 wines.


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