Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Spirit of Wine Review & Rating: ***+ $$ Pillar Box Reserve (Shiraz), Padthaway, Australia, 2008 (GOOD VALUE)

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By way of background, opening thoughts: Shiraz from Australia is almost so familiar to be cliche now, but one must admit that it remains an extraordinary pairing of location and grape.  Pillar Box Red is well-known to seekers of value-priced Australian shiraz (I have prior review of Pillar Box Red here).  This offering, the Pillar Box Reserve Shiraz is said by some to be at an entirely different level of character and quality.   Let's see...


Original tasting and review , July, 2011: This is Pillar Box Reserve (Shiraz), Padthaway, Australia, 2008, finished at 14.5% alcohol.

In the glass: Deep, brooding blood red, almost opaque in the center. 

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, shows soft eucalyptus, light cedar and dark cherries.    From the aroma, seems like this will be mouth-filling, sweet in tone, yet with brightness. 

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact full red berries washing across your entire mouth, with elements of soft ripe, blackberries, hints of plums and sweet cherries, being fixed with finely knit tannins and little noticeable acidity.  Finish lingers, and stays entirely clean.

In summary: Overall, rates three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with a big plus for rich pleasure. Not a bargain, but high enough quality to rate a good value.  Following long decant, full day kept cool in partially-filled bottle: Consistent nose, perhaps more like petrol than eucalyptus now.  Palate remains sweet, concentrated and fulfilling, in a red berry way. 

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Updated review, two and a half years later, now five years from vintage date, December, 2013:    Still dark blood red in the glass.  Deep, soft-toned, furry black eucalyptus.  Yummy smell.  Full base of deep furry pine - as anticipated - with a wash of red fruit darting across as it waves.  Fresh bright acids lift the red fruit and the full experience.  Not a hint of age, but good drinking now.

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