Opened and decanted briefly after extracting a totally powdered cork that has been a feature of all my bottles in recent years. Typical very heavy sediment. Totally opaque liver-blood colour just lightening to plum red translucency at the meniscus, probably because of minimal decanting. Nose is eucalyptus and bright blackcurrant and blackberry fruit with some lovely damp red Australian earth. Palate is an immediate rush of confit plums, wallpaper paste and white chalk that segues into a lovely balance of dried red chilli in chilli oil and then notes of chinese red vinegar. Super dry, chalky finish. Good length and long high-toned resonance inside the head on the finale. Just like the St. Hallett Shiraz 1985 I drank earlier this week, this exhibits all the best aspects of fully evolved older Australian Shiraz from a great producer, although the Dead Arm still has more corks hanging around the brim of its hat. One of the last few bottles from several cases I bought many years ago in Hong Kong when wine duty was 80%. Still worth every cent but it's now time to move on to the 2002 vintage, which is the only subsequent vintage to match it in my opinion.
"Welcome Back, Runny" Dinner (St. George Restaurant, Hullett House, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong): Decanted for 90 minutes or so before serving. Bright, transparent blood-red colour. Nose is earth…..deep, deep loamy earth. Palate is gorgeous chewy, black and red fruit balanced with fresh, bright acidity. Big growling resonance. Absolutely gorgeous and close to “at point” for a while before it closed up and went monolithic in the glass. Needs a few hours more decanting than we gave it.
Intense ruby. Medium intensity nose of sweet vanilla, plum and dark fruit, developing into bacon fat with time in glass. Milky smooth palate, with good acid, fully developed fruit and evident oak. Rich and reasonably long.
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