Friday, July 4, 2008

2004 Sanguine Estate Shiraz

It is time to review a Shiraz from Heathcote. This is probably my second favourite Australian wine region for Shiraz, after the Barossa. The Barossa is number one because of its well established vineyards, fruit complexity, chocolate flavours and great consistency. Heathcote shows more red fruit characters, the wines are bold, many too alcoholic, but great for winter. Next probably comes McLaren Vale, which produces wines of great depth, but somewhat one-dimensional plum flavours. There are also a few great Shirazes from Claire. They age very well because of their high acidity, but apart from Wendouree are quite uneven. Then comes the rest.

This Sanguine is full bodied, with black cherry and blackcurrant flavours. It is sweet, with the alcohol sharpness gone, and the tannins have melted into a satisfying finish. Great value for $30 per bottle.

I had another bottle a few days before, which displayed less fruit flavour, and was rather oaky. Substantial bottle variation. Both bottles were stored in the same way. I am not necessarily a fan of screw tops for the best reds, but if you cannot afford a good reliable cork, you better go for a different closure.

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