Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Updated Review: ****+ $$ Formula Small Gully Robert's Shiraz, South Australia, 2005 = BEST VALUE

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By way of background: The Formula Small Gully Robert's Shiraz is a shiraz selected from South Australia vineyards and finished at a big 15.9% alcohol for 2005.

Original Tasting and Review, March, 2010:

In the glass: This Robert's Shiraz shows as deep beet red in the glass, opaque in the middle and just beginning to brick at the edge.

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant, this Aussie shiraz sports bold, layered red fruit on the nose, with a solid oak overlay.  With a vigorous swirl, sweet beefy tones come out.

On the palate: The first element on the palate is earthy sweet red fruit, think red currants with a honeydew texture and sweetness.  That moves across your tongue with a furry, slightly motor-oil infused texture, full of slick and still-bright red berries all along.

And the wrap-up: The finish is an extension of the creamy red-fruited middle, leaving just the right hints of residual flavors.

In summary: Overall, intense, layered, pleasurable experience. Rates a full four stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, making this a remarkably powerful value.  

Jay Miller of Wine Advocate also gave this a thumbs up with 90 points, writing, "The Formula Robert’s Shiraz exhibits an expressive nose of bacon and blueberry leading to a layered, easy going wine with a smooth texture and intense flavors. This superb value can be enjoyed over the next five years."

Following a long decant, four-days kept cellar cool in a partially-filled bottle: This is like Methuselah, doesn't change a speck with age!  No difference in nose or palate after this exceedingly-long decant.

Updated review, over two years later,  April, 2012, now seven years from vintage date:  Still medium deep red, with hints of brick at the edge.  Remains big, beefy and bold on the nose.  Almost piercing.  The palate holds its prior elements of earthy red fruit and melon-like sweetness.  Along with the motor-oil infusion, a slight element of age has crept in - though just a slight element.  Adds a nice tone without making this at all generic.  Strong showing.  Ready to drink up now. Following long decant, four days kept cool:  Luxurious, brightly bold nose. Holding absolutely solid on the palate.  This is an Energizer Bunny!

Updated review, another nine months later, late December, 2012:  The nose has grown a bit more subtle.  But the palate... omigosh, sweet as ever, fragrant and voluptuous.  Gets a plus for its intense pleasurability.  Gonna be awesome with bacon-wrapped turkey burgers in a sweet-seared glaze.

Updated review, over a year later, now nine years from vintage date, March, 2014:  Lightening up now on the palate, still showing red berries.  Feels like it may just be coming up to the trip-wire of its longest viable age.

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