If I may generalise, like some of South Australia, I think Heathcote as a region seemed to get overly caught up in the “fruit bomb” fad and hasn’t quite moved on as tastes have changed. Classic styles, like black, inevitably return to fashion. For a region with such potential, unique soil and such quality of wines, I think that Heathcote should have a bit more profile. In my book, there is a place for richer terroir reflective styles such as those capable of being produced in Heathcote – these are styles that I enjoy (a Zuber Estate Heathcote shiraz from the early 1990s still sits in my palate memory for its sheer gloriousness) but ultimately it comes down to finding the right balance between alcohol, acidity, tannin and flavour. And here I find that there can be a tension between very high alcohol wines (i.e. 15%abv and higher) and balance, at least in dry wine styles. This wine is good and almost achieves balance, but not quite.
The 2010 shiraz from Kyneton Ridge Estate is a pronounced intensity purple in colour, bright and has viscous tears around the rim of the glass. Aromatically, the wine is a little muted, with notes of baked plums, plum jam, dried herbs and spirit. The palate is dry, with between medium and high acidity and has soft tannins, a full body, and warming flavours of plums, herbs and spirit. The fruit is not really particularly overt. This is a good wine that will drink well over the next few years, if a bit spirity. Without this element, it would rank even more highly. Good
Vendors: Check http://www.kynetonridge.com.au/
Tasted: September 2012