22 Apr2012

Mudgee’s other secret weapon: Shiraz

Apart from hanging their heads on Chardonnay as a stalwart grape of the region the producers of Mudgee are keen to push and extoll the virtues of Shiraz. I can certainly see their point. Mudgee mud as these wine used to be known have grown up. What became clear from the tasting was the reds are quite distinctive with assured acid profiles and gravelly tannins making for savoury medium-full bodied food style wines:

The wines tasted here were a selection from the first tasting labeled Mudgee Classics from a recent red tasting held at Robert Oatley’s Cellar Door in Mudgee: All of the wines listed were my favourites from four smallish brackets that were all served blind.

Logan Ridge Of Tears Shiraz 2010 $45

A new label from Peter Logan with two single site Shiraz (one made in Mudgee and and one in Orange), to reveal and express the different terroirs. This tastes cooler climate to me with lifted plum and pepper, some florals, a black fruit core and some peppery spice. This is impressive drinking with cherry fruit, nicely structured tannins and fresh yet firm acids, not released yet but showing amazing aging ability. Watch out for this on release it will alter your perception of Mudgee reds.

David Lowe Reserve Shiraz 2009 $45

Organics and Biodynamics has been a popular project for David Lowe and there’s no doubting the vitality in the fruit. It exhibits a mixture of cherry ripe, plum and hints of menthol with great intensity across the palate, slightly drying tannins with a good deal of spice and persistence. Good balance of tannin and acid seems to be a combination that Mudgee obtain in the reds.

Montrose Black Shiraz 2009 $34.95

2009 was considered a ripper year in Mudgee and again the cool climate character was on offer, showing an elegant wine with plum and cinnamon spice and hints of olive and leather. A layered wine of red fruits and chewy tannins with a chalky edge and bright acidity.

Montrose Black Label Shiraz 1999 $NA

Standing the test of time, an old school wine with plenty of oak , prune an bitter chocolate , it had an edge of soy and umami too.  The palate delivers equal parts dark fruit, oak and tannin but nicely integrated all the same.

The wines from 2006, an Abercorn and a David Lowe Shiraz were like relics of a bygone era when oak and extraction were de rigeur in the quest for making Parkerised wines they might as well be called parodies now as the wood treatment was so overdone that it really made the wines quite hard to enjoy.

Shiraz Cabernet blends

Mudgee Gold Shiraz Cabernet Blend 2009 $60

This is the result of the producers working together and making a wine that’s blended from the medal winning reds in the Mudgee Wine show. All of the wines in the blend have won Gold medals (hence the name) and it’s then blended together in one single barrel to make a premium red that typifies the region only 610 bottles were made.

It’s a solid wine and at $60 one of the most expensive but it goes some way to show a unified collaboration amongst the producers. The final blend includes Andrew Harris, Broombee Organic Wines, Burnbrae, Frog Rock, Queens Pinch, Robert Oatley and Robert Stein, The blend is split 70/30.The result is a wine that’s vibrant with blackcurrant and prune, dark chocolate and a hint of ironstone. There’s black fruit intensity, a glossy edge to the palate and a vital fruit signature that’s nicely balanced wth that signature Mudgee acid framework in place.

Cabernet

Quilty Running Stitch Cabernet 2010 $28

Classic Cabernet on offer here with blackcurrant , dark chocolate, some expresso coffee grounds and a bold signature of spice as well as soy. A hit of sour cherry fruit with a well-balanced palate with lively acids and a good line of persistence. Really impressed by this wine, nicely varietal Cabernet and well-priced, look out for this.

Huntingdon Estate Reserve Cabernet 2009 $28

Cabernet typicity with cassis, a light leafiness and a hint of tomato before a palate of blackcurrant fruit with drying tannins. An expressive dark-fruited wine that needs food.

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