Friday, June 10, 2011

Spirit of Wine Review & Rating: **** $$ Piping Shrike Shiraz, Barossa Valley, Australia, 2006 (BEST VALUE)

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By way of background: Piping Shrike is a full-throttle shiraz produced by Charles Cimicky & Son Winemakers of South Australia, from grapes grown exclusively in Barossa Valley, Australia. It was aged in old American hogsheads and smaller French barrels.

Original review, November, 2009:

In the glass: Black/purple and opaque within a quarter inch of the edge of the glass.

On the nose: Poured without a decant and swirled vigorously, it shows powerful aromas of cedar and pine trees - they jump from the glass.

On the palate: A smooth cedar oil slides across your palate as the first note, followed by brighter berry fruit as follow up. The brighter red fruit is lifted with the high alcohol into your cheeks. An overall liqueur-like impression of black cherries follows throughout.

And the finish: Light acids come through to light the finish along with a touch of darker charcoal.

In summary: A no-holes-barred experience. Surely one to stick with for an evening, garnering four stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale. Outstanding value.

Robert Parker of Wine Advocate also thought fairly highly of Piping Shrike, awarding 89 points, and writing, "This 2006 Shiraz exhibits a deep ruby/purple color along with superb blackberry, spice box, pepper, and cedar characteristics. Full-bodied, opulent, and fleshy, this hedonistic offering should be enjoyed over the next 3-4 years."

Updated review, a year and a half later, June, 2011:  Deep magenta red, still opaque from less than an inch in from the edge of the glass.  More subdued aroma now, old world funky.  Soft, sleek red berries carried across your palate on an old world frame. Nice, but not improved over the younger version of itself.  Following long decant, one day kept cool in partially-filled bottle:  Intense old world funky and deep fruit.  With the full day decant, it has ratcheted back up to compete with its younger self.  I expect a touch of brett has begun to add the funky characteristics to this great value Barossa shiraz.

Find retail pricing and availability for Piping Shrike Shiraz .

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