Sunday, November 23, 2008

Shirvington Shiraz

The only Australian wine in this year's top 10 of the Wine Spectator is the 2006 Carnival of Love. It is a high alcohol "Parker" Shiraz. It is not widely available in Australia, and mostly exported to the US. The label is owned by Sarah & Sparky Marquis. Sparky fashioned the Fox Creek wines in the late 90s to more concentrated wines. Prior to the current venture, he made Shirvington a cult wine of McLaren Vale. There is no doubt that this pair is very good at marketing, but how good is the wine?

I own some 05 Carnival of Love, but given this would be a bit young, I opened one of two bottles of the 2002 Shirvington Shiraz I own. Yuk, this is a prime example of how misguided wine making can become which goes for maximum ripeness. This wine tastes basically of alcohol (it has 16%) and you wouldn't be able to experience the grape variety. The wine has no charm and would be best suited to a Chinese dinner with lots of toasts followed by sculling your wine. Given the alcohol, you wouldn't be able to do this very often, though.

I believe there are excellent examples of ripe Australian Shirazes with elegance and a structure to last for a long time, but for every good wine, there are many poor ones. This Shirvington is one of those.

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