Friday, June 18, 2010

Review and Rating: **** $$ Step Rd Black Wing Shiraz 2005, Australia

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Original Review, July, 2008: The Step Rd Black Wing shiraz is a modestly priced South Australian wine with a pretty good reputation.

In the glass, it shows a deep, velvety burgundy. Aromas are creamy, spicy and round. Not flamboyant, but not shy either.

On the palate, there is a nice furry, sweet middle, followed by rivulets of creamy, luscious, ripe fruit. There is a note of alcohol in the long finish that brings along a slight concord grape overtone to the deep rich cherry. This will just tip the scales for me at four stars out of five, since I wouldn't be compelled to seek something else out in the same evening. Excellent value.

Robert Parker awarded 90 points and said, "The 2005 Shiraz Black Wing offers black cherry, chocolate, smoke, and earth characteristics in a medium-bodied, rich, intense format. Drink it over the next 2-3 years."


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After continuing to sip with a meal, I found the Step Rd Black Wing Shiraz just a bit less compelling. It did not hold up to food quite as well as I had hoped, becoming somewhat less robust and somewhat harsher. I'm going to move to three stars with a plus for its exuberant youthful first impression.

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HOWEVER, after a full day's decant, this comes back to an even fuller, rounder, aromatic mouthful. So back to four stars. This is a real fence-straddler among the ratings!
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Updated Review, almost two years later, June, 2010:  Color is consistent.  Aromas are buoyant, round, rich and bold.  The mid-palate remains furry and creamy; and, though the concord grape overtones are gone, the black cherry has grown even blacker and more mature.  Outstanding. Four full stars for sure.  Awesome value.  This has held up very well, now five years from its vintage date.

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