Sunday, August 5, 2012

Updated Review: ***+ $ Water Wheel Memsie, Bendigo, Australia, 2006 = BEST VALUE

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By way of background, opening thoughts: A much lesser-known area of Australia than, say, Barossa or McLaren Vale is Bendigo, situated in Victoria, in the far southeast section of the country.  Today we will be trying a shiraz-dominated blend from that region.

Original tasting and review, August, 2011: This is Water Wheel Memsie, Bendigo, Australia, 2006, a blend of 87% shiraz, 7% cabernet sauvignon and 6% malbec, finished at 14.5% alcohol.

In the glass: Water Wheel Memsie is black mahogany, opaque from less than a quarter inch in from the edge.

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, shows soft, bold, menthol-laced fruit with sweet helium balloon.  From the aroma, seems like this will be fat, strong and silky.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact just as the aroma suggested, with perhaps just a touch more acid than expected which lifts the brightness.  The fruit is thick rich blackberry plus red currant and a touch of charcoal backbone.  Big opening, full middle, and a finish that trails modestly in length, and ends clean with no cloy.  Not complex, but substantial.

In summary: Overall, a solid, full, somewhat classic southeastern Australia shiraz experience that rates a full three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with a plus for keeping such power in balance.  This generates a "best value" nod at its attractive price point.  With confirming enthusiasm, Jay Miller of Wine Advocate awarded 90 points.

Following long decant, full day at room temperature in partially filled bottle:   Consistent aroma, with elements nicely knit together.  Moderately rich but charcoal-laced palate continues.

Updated review, about a year later, August, 2012:    Deep mahogany, opaque an inch in from the center, with elements of dark brick showing at the edges.  Soft, gentle mentholated red fruit on the nose.  Aromatic softness on the palate, rich, flavorful and uplifting.  Outstanding balance.  The charcoal I noted before is less apparent, having melded in to the mix.  Remains an awesome value.  NO sign of having reached middle age. 

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