Friday, January 3, 2014

Updated Review: ****+ $$ Chateau Tanunda Grand Barossa Shiraz, Barossa, Australia, 2008 - BEST VALUE

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Chateau Tanunda Grand Barossa Shiraz.

By way of background, opening thoughts: The Barossa region of Australia makes many world-class shiraz wines.  Today we have one from Chateau Tanunda, a stately chateau owned by the Geber family which was the site of the first vines planted in the Barossa in 1845.  Let's see what a century-and-a-half-plus of experience means for the wine in the bottle.

Original tasting and review , March, 2012: This is Chateau Tanunda Grand Barossa Shiraz, Barossa, Australia, 2008, finished at 14.5% alcohol, and kept in French oak barrels for 18 months.  We're sampling this one at mid-life, about four years from vintage date.

In the glass: Dark brick red, opaque from about a half inch from the edge. 

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, shows soft, subdued - but classic - eucalyptus and menthol.  From the aroma, seems like this will be rich and perfumed. 

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact both deep with minty fruit and brighter with red berries.  A sweet deep red raspberry sheen to the more-typical darker shiraz.  Finish is lengthy with dripping fruit, and it focuses at the end with a brightness on your tongue. 

In summary: Overall, just touches four stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale because it is poised so well between dark and light. Because of that, also just touches "best value" status.

Following long decant, full day kept cool in partially filled bottle: Even more subdued nose with the same mentholated elements. The palate remains bold yet delicately poised between bright, dark and sweet.  Following longer decant, three more days kept cool in partially filled bottle: Bold, aromatic purple nose.  Still a chewy, balanced palate with sweet, black blackberries.

Updated review, almost two years later, now six years from vintage date, January, 2014:  Same black/red/opaque color and bold menthol aromas.  The furry black fruit now positively surrounds the rich red fruit center, like a velvet rope, dripping fresh chocolate, coconut and menthol for a full minute.  Frighteningly full and layered.  Moves to an unparalleled four stars with a plus for unctuous layering on the Spirit of Wine scale, making this a crazy best value.

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Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Chateau Tanunda Grand Barossa Shiraz.

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