As luck would have it, I’m enjoying my Easter long weekend in bed with a messy, feverish chest cold for company. Rather than attempt to taste wine in this condition, I thought I’d reflect on a bottle drunk a week or two ago. This was a gift from my ever-generous co-author Chris. I shall save the other bottle to taste with him, as I’d really like a second opinion here.
It’s clear this wine is all quality, with intensity, power and drive to spare. Stylistically, though, it raises an equally clear question: do these ostensibly desirable qualities contribute to drinkability? I’m not so sure. But first, my impressions of the wine itself. The nose is massively complex, even at a young age. The character of the fruit is alternately sweet/savoury, the Yarra component evident in what strikes me as a luscious, if somewhat blunt, slice of juicy fruit pie. There’s a good deal of oak here too, charry and bold. I was quite bowled over by this wine’s impact at first, and it took me a moment to realise I was being overpowered by the wine, pushed around and told what to do.
The palate is equally powerful and somewhat front-loaded in shape, with good acid and a lovely, drying chalky finish. Flavours echo the nose, with rhubarb and strawberries bursting through an underlay of savoury complexity and an overlay of glossy oak. Again, quite an overpoweringly awesome wine, but at the same time one that doesn’t encourage onward consumption. Indeed, one glass was quite enough, and though there’s no denying the skill and fruit at play, I ended up feeling slightly cornered.