Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Updated Review: ****+ $$ Zonte's Footstep Shiraz Viognier, Langhorne Creek, Australia, 2006 - BEST VALUE

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Zonte's Footstep Shiraz Viognier.

By way of background, opening thoughts: Shiraz-based wines which are given a splash of viognier are a fairly common occurrence among Australian reds.  The sometimes over-lush and heavy shiraz are given a certain lift by the aromatics and brightness that comes from the white viognier grape.  This combo of 94% shiraz and 6% viognier comes from the Langhorne Creek, Australia, region.  Let's see how big its footstep really is!

Original tasting and review , October, 2011: This is Zonte's Footstep Shiraz Viognier, Langhorne Creek, Australia, 2006, finished at 14.5% alcohol.

In the glass: Dark magenta, opaque from a half inch in from the edge of the glass. 

On the nose: Poured cool and swirled vigorously, shows deep black fruit tucked nicely in old oak.  From the aroma, seems like this will be bold, luscious and deep.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact purple chocolate cocoa in your cheeks, with red berries blossoming all around.  Integrated oak adds a mild shadow of dark charcoal, but it supports the fruit, doesn't overwhelm it.  Sleek, long-lived flavors of black cherry settle gently into your cheeks, vanishing slowly to a remarkably clean finish.

In summary: Overall, rates four stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with a plus for its inviting layers.  An easy "best value."

Following long decant, full day kept cool in partially filled bottle: Brighter nose, some car-tire-rubber mixed in with deep red inkiness.  Very, very consistent palate with the earlier notes.  Stands up like a rock to the air. And even longer decant, two more days: Red fruit is softening on the palate. Still quite pleasant, but growing simpler.

Updated review, over a year later, March, 2013:  Still deep magenta, now lightly oxidized on the nose with deep, rich fruit.  Full, rich and thick on the palate, still, but feeling like it has already peaked.

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Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Zonte's Footstep Shiraz Viognier.

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