Saturday, September 3, 2011

Thomas Shiraz Wines

Andrew Thomas has moved to the top echelon of Hunter Valley producers in the last few years, and a review of three single vineyard Shirazes from 2009 suggests he might join the ranks of Clonakilla as a leading Shiraz producer from greater NSW - yes, they are that good.

The 2009 Thomas Sweetwater Shiraz comes from vines which are only 13 years old, but aggressive pruning gives the fruit enough concentrated flavour. This wine is very pretty and aromatic with fresh violets flavours. The fruit tastes of raspberry, and this medium bodied Shiraz finishes with fine tannins. This wine was the most successful at the 2011 Hunter Wine Show, and it certainly has immediate appeal.

Score: 93/++

The 2009 Thomas Motel Block Shiraz is a new addition to the line-up. It is a bigger wine, a bit more muscular, but still of a medium body frame despite the relatively high 14.5% alcohol . The wine, from over 40 year old vines, is quite peppery and well balanced. It will develop for many years and develop into a classic Hunter Valley Shiraz.

Score: 94/++

The 2009 Thomas Kiss Shiraz is the flagship wine, and deservedly so. It shows a darker palate, of blackberry and plum, and more density and depth than the Motel Block. It has only 13.5% alcohol and is very well balanced. This is a very profound, yet elegant wine, which will improve in complexity over the next 5-7 years.

Score: 96/+++

I have been most impressed with these wines. They are well balanced, taste fresh and modern, while retaining Hunter Valley texture. They are not as big as South Australian Shiraz in general, but have a full and elegant mouthfeel, and will be great with the usual meat dishes.

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