Love the Heathcotes generally. This is atypical at the moment - a big bruiser of a wine. Not really ready. Should be left another few years before trying again. However, good deep fruit and big tannins to keep us going into the future.
Deep intense blackberry fruit on the nose with a touch of vanilla. Flattering and delicious. A little bonfire and complex young notes. Fresh and elegant blackberry fruit on the palate but it really feels very young. There is also a little burnt dirt, iron, black olives and eucalyptus. Sophisticated with an excellent structure. However it is still harsh and very young!
8.5/10 - Pop and poured, still very young but already a great wine. Lovely black cherry, blackcurrant, chocolate, and and charcoal/pencil lead. Tannins are velvet smooth and sweet. Acidity is good and matches up well against all the flavours and the rather thick layer of tannins. The tannins, while heavy, were never jarring and felt like a heavy velvet cloak cloaking the beauty beneath. Cellaring the rest but it will be hard to resist. Thank goodness for the 03s in the meanwhile.
10x20 Victorian Tasting (Customs House, Sydney, Australia): A dense and complex nose of blackberry, earth, liquorice as well as kirsch, violets and some pepper. The palate is brooding, rich, detailed and intense - it is given a lift by bright acid and kept from being over the top by the structure. This needs some serious time in bottle to be its best, 7-8 years at least.
The first of 3 bottles I have bought and am looking forward to discovering over the years. Very elegant for a young wine. Dark berries, cassis and plum, some dark chocolate with a hint if tobacco. Dusty, chalky tannins, but so very fine they're almost not there. Looking forward to this over the years.
Mega-Pointer Dinner (Yuan Wei Deep-Sea Garoupa, Serangoon Road): This was very, very young, but after sitting in an opened bottle for half a day, it actually showed quite nicely. It had a rich, thick nose, full of deep plum, blackberry and cassis aromas patted down with some earth and eucalyptus notes. It shared some similarities to the Fox Creek Reserve drank alongside, but was rather tighter, more primary, maybe more indistinct given its youth. The palate had the rich, viscous weight that Jasper Hills often show, but it was very well-balanced by gobs of juicy acidity that suffused its ripe, deeply fruited flavours of black plums and prunes, blackberries and cassis and some dark cherry chocolates. There was a bit of savoury earth in there somewhere, but such was the primacy of the fruit that it remained rather buried. All in all, this had tremendous weight and complexity, great velvety depth and superb length, all presented in a rather suave, velvety packaged. Super-young, but very solid, with a lot going on. Like the other two Shirazes on show, this was also very nicely balanced. James Suckling 100 points. I am certainly not a perfect score on this one, nowhere near, but this was impressive stuff which should age very well indeed.
This is a beautiful, unforced wine aiming for elegance. Medium ruby color. Somewhat restrained and shows no signs of New World clichés: no strong vanilla/mocha oak, no over-ripeness. Neither is it obviously Aussie. The nose exhibits wonderfully fresh cherry and plum, rather in the red berry spectrum (or red - dark), with subtle black pepper, cinnamon, coriander seed spiciness. Maybe a hint of orange as well. Pretty, but not the most complex (yet?). On the palate it's dry, vivid, with higher acidity that seems natural. Really nice density on the mid-palate, especially because it is not an extracted style; rather unforced, has an almost light or Pinot-ish touch. Medium plus body, no alcoholic heat (perfectly ripe at 14% ABV). Tannins are firmish at the end, and for me, somewhat unusual for a syrah: they have a slight Nebbiolo/sandpaper feel to them. Real personality here, a lovely wine, but currently lacks some complexity and intensity for the perfect mark (James Suckling 100 points), though can improve with age. Very young, hold.