Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Spirit of Wine Review & Rating: ***+ $$ Oliverhill Winery Clarendon Shiraz, McLaren Vale, Australia, 2006

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By way of background: I thoroughly enjoyed Oliverhill Winery's Jimmy Section Shiraz in the past.  This time I'll be trying another selection from the Oliverhill line, another single vineyard shiraz from the McLaren Vale section of Australia. 

Initial review : This is Oliverhill Winery Clarendon Shiraz, McLaren Vale, Australia, 2006, finished at 14.4% alcohol, boldly alcohol-laden for sure, but almost conservative by south Australia standards.

In the glass: Oliverhill Clarendon Shiraz is deep dusty red.  The deep red coats the edge of the glass.

On the nose: Poured at room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows a sweet and funky red berry mix, with a definite, though delicate, barnyard element.   From the aroma, seems like this will be rich and yet bright in your cheeks. 

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact a bright and tannic first wave of flavors, bringing sweet red currant to the top of your mouth, and plastering it there with bright and solid tannins.  The red fruits then trickle down from the roof of your mouth, delivering waves of sparkly and spicy flavors for almost a minute. 

In summary: Overall, a bright experience, with good layers and acids; certainly not your classic deep-fruit McLaren Vale shiraz.  Rates three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with a plus for decanting and/or aging promise.  An unusual medium-weight, bright red style red.  Not a bargain, but a good value if purchased well.

Following long decant, four hours at room temperature in flat-bottomed decanter:  The aroma comes forward now with some olive oil, surrounding by lighter versions of the earlier notes.  The red fruits on the palate remain surrounded by the sandy tannins. 

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