The 2017 release of Rockford’s Rod & Spur shiraz cabernet has aromas of licorice and cassis. The palate is medium bodied and has fine, almost unnoticeable tannins. This is a very balanced wine and is approachable now. In fact, its principal attribute is balance – this is not a blockbuster Barossa style, and intentionally so. It is quite young, so may develop further. Rating: Good. Abv: 13.9. Price: $30s. Website: https://www.rockfordwines.com.au/. Reviewed: June 2020.
This wine is a blend of grenache, shiraz and mourvèdre (mataro) from Rusty Mutt in McLaren Vale. It opens to aromas of red berries. The palate is full bodied and consistent with the McLaren Vale GSM style where the tannins are a little firmer and more structured than expected for a grenache blend, but always with no edges. Ready to drink now, this is an enjoyable wine. Rating: Good. Abv: NR. Price: $25. Website: http://rustymutt.com.au. Reviewed: May 2020.
Something of a contrast in style to the Heartland shiraz just reviewed, this shiraz from McLaren Vale and the 2016 vintage has aromas of earth, soil and spice. The palate has medium to high acidity, soft tannins, a medium to full body and is restrained in style. This is an enjoyable wine that can be approached now. Rating: Good. Abv: 14.5. Price: $30. Website: https://www.rustymutt.com.au/. Source: Sample. Reviewed: May 2020.
This is a classically proportioned and less oaky vintage of Glaetzer’s Directors’ Cut Heartland shiraz from Langhorne Creek that is a delight to drink. In the glass, it has aromas of coconut shavings and plum. The palate is rich, full bodied with terrific length and an expression of crushed spices. Ready to drink now or over the next decade, this is a very enjoyable wine that could sell for much more. Rating: Very Good. Abv: 14.5. Price: $30. Website: https://www.heartlandwines.com.au/homepage-international/. Reviewed: April 2020.
Balgownie Estate’s shiraz from the Bendigo region is a well regarded wine. The 2016 vintage has aromas of pastille and spice. The palate is full bodied, very soft with little tannin and the cedar influence sits ajar from the fruit. Pleasant and ready to drink, the 2016 is a modest release. Rating: Good. Abv: NA. Website: http://www.balgownieestate.com.au. Reviewed: April 2020.
In these challenging times, it feels important to keep posting wine reviews and supporting local producers. Deeply coloured, the 2016 vintage of Rockford’s Rod & Spur shiraz cabernet has an aroma of iodine, dark fruits and licorice. The palate is full bodied, soft and graceful in its expression. This wine has entered its drinking window, but experience suggests that it should improve with 5-8 years of cellaring. This is a wine I purchase most years. Rating: Good to Very Good. Abv: 13.8. Price: $40+. Website: https://www.rockfordwines.com.au. Tasted: March 2020.
This wine has aromas of confectionary, cracked pepper and game. The palate reminds of dusty oak and has medium to high tannins. Ready to drink. Rating: Acceptable to Good. Abv: 14%. Price: $30. Website: https://hastwellandlightfoot.com.au. Source: Sample. Reviewed: February 2020.
This is a very good example of aged Mudgee shiraz. It has attractive black fruit and oak vanilla characters. The palate is black fruited, with spice and quite good length on the finish. This wine is ready to drink, but will have a decade long drinking window. Rating: Very Good. Abv: 14.5%. Price: $50. Website: https://www.robertstein.com.au. Source: Sample. Reviewed: February 2020.
This is a typically robust rendition of Mudgee shiraz. It opens to aromas of oak, vanilla and ripe black fruits. The palate is full bodied with soft and approachable black fruits that build tannin with time in the glass. Ready to drink now or it can be cellared for at least 5 years. Rating: Good to Very Good. Abv: 13.8%. Source: Sample. Reviewed: December 2019.
This release from Gartelmann Wines is from the difficult 2015 vintage in the Hunter Valley. It has typical Hunter shiraz characters of spice, plum, pepper and cedar. The tannins are soft, the body is between medium and full and the acidity spikey. This is a sound wine suitable for drinking now. Rating: Good. Abv: 14.3%. Price: $28. Website: https://www.gartelmann.com.au. Source: Sample. Reviewed: October 2019.