Saturday, June 12, 2010

****+ $$ The Winner's Tank Shiraz, Eskadale Vineyards, 2006, Langhorne Creek, Australia - Wine Review and Rating

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 Original Review, September, 2008: Hmm, quite an unusual label. What IS that sign out there?? Well, according to winemaker David Knight on the label itself, "As the long standing tradition dictates - The triumhant team in the local Ausse Rules football competition, gathers in our vineyard to celebrate their victory... & paint!" Oh, I get it... it IS a sign. A sign with the winner's name. Well, looks a bit more like a gravestone than a wine label, but let's see if the wine itself has some life...

In the glass, the Winner's Tank Shiraz, Eskadale Vineyards, 2006, Langhorne Creek, Australia, is deep black velvet, red at the fringes. It is strongly aromatic, not quite pumping out fruit across the room... but bringing strong, plumpy, charred black cherries to mind.

On the palate, this full-bore shiraz hits on several dimensions at once - up front with a full, prickly tickle of oak; then in the middle, with a drippy, condensed black cherry; just a touch of friendly acids along the sides of your cheeks; then a moderately lengthy, fruity oaked finish. All in all, slightly bright with fruit and dark with oak. Actually brings a bit of milk chocolate on the finish. I'll stay with this for an evening - so four stars out of five! Caution: Not a wine in which you need to hunt for meaning. A plus for the "Pow" factor. Remarkable value.

Wine Advocate expresses similar enthusiasms, awarding 91 points, and saying: "The 2006 Winner’s Tank Shiraz is a perennial Best Buy. It spent 9 months in tank with French oak staves. Purple-colored, it has a wonderfully expressive perfume of plum, black cherry, and blueberry compote. This leads to a full-bodied, seamless, rich wine with a long, pure finish. This is an ideal, every-day wine worth buying by the case. It is an awesome value."

After a full day decant, Winner's Tank Shiraz has become even more awesome! Less bright; lingering black cherry and dust finish. Add a plus for promise for the future.

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 Updated review, over a year and a half later, June, 2010:  Color is consistent, still a deep magenta, opaque an inch or so in from the edge of the glass.  Aromas are shy, dusty full plum plus dark cherry.  On the palate, now the acids have retreated, leaving a thick, even, rich plum essence with a good dollop of basement dust.  Plus a hint of that milk chocolate.  Still yummy.


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