A second wine from the TWP series of wines. Almost a month ago I wrote about the Viognier so now it’s the turn of the Shiraz.
Clare Valley Shiraz is quite a ‘thing’ and one which sits all too firmly in the shade of the much lauded, and generally excellent value, Rieslings. As the region is cooler than the more Shiraz-famous Barossa you do see a considerable difference in style. Think of the Barossa wines as the bubbly, bright, out-going but perhaps ever so slightly in-your-face counterpart to Clare’s quieter wines, more thoughtful perhaps, a slightly more elegant or understated dresser. They can be different wines for different occasions and I generally find that those who loves the fullness of a Barossa Shiraz find cooler climate wines more difficult to deal with.
Personally, I have a bit of a thing for cool(er) climate Shiraz so wines from Clare are often right up my street and I’ve been lucky enough to taste some stellar wines with some reasonably serious age on them.
Of course, this wine is a current release and something of a baby. In this respect, it looks very approachable and I reckon that dyed in the wool ‘big’ Shiraz drinkers will be quite happy. In that respect, I think it’s an excellent introduction to Clare Valley Shiraz and should open plenty of punters’ eyes to Clare’s offerings other than Riesling.
In the glass, intensely purple. The nose is pronounced and comes across as a little hot. It is all about plums, fruit cake, sweet spice, licorice and dark chocolate.
The palate very much reflects the nose: tonnes of fresh fruit – plums and blackberries – along with some vanilla which didn’t show up on the nose. It does also seem a bit hot here too – but, interestingly, this heat really backs off give some time in the glass, so I wonder if decanting this wine (with a good splosh to get some air through it) would be worth the effort.
The wine is well balanced, with some reasonable acidity and very soft tannins and reasonable length.
Initially I had some misgivings about the heat of the wine but time in the glass really sorted that out. The wine has plenty of oomph, so it will work well with a range of food – particularly barbecue over summer.
And on that note, I’d also like to draw your attention to a new Taylor’s campaign/initiative regarding wine service temperature, Better By Degrees. With red wines, in particular, should not be served at ambient temperature when it’s 43 degrees in the shade.
Taylors Winemaker’s Project Clare Valley Shiraz, sample. RRP $25. Again, a cellar door exclusive so online may be your best bet.