There are a lot of tricks and traps in this wine buying caper and it’s true that a lot of new players often overlook the fact that seasonal variations can have a dramatic impact on the quality of the same wine year by year. So when a region experiences a season with perfect climatic conditions for a particular grape; buy up!
And if Shiraz is your go, look no further than the Hunter Valley’s 2011 vintage. The growing conditions were ideal with dry and warm growing conditions prior to harvest and the low yielding vines responded well to the harsh conditions, delivering an intensity of fruit flavours that are seldom seen.
One of my favourites is the Meerea Park Terracotta Syrah 2011 which has been expertly crafted by the Eather brothers who have released the 2011 vintage as a Syrah with just a dash of Viognier fruit.
I fell in love with the 2010 vintage and it’s hard to believe that the 2011 release is even better! The nose is slightly perfumed and shows none of the sweaty saddlebag nuances that are often evident in Hunter Valley reds. The palate is blessed with a smorgasbord of red fruit and cocoa flavours that dance their twinkle toed way through the French oak matinee to a long gracious encore at the back.
I’d definitely decant this one for half an hour before drinking, but it’s not a wine that you need to keep for 20 years before seeing it at its best. An absolute cracker!