Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Three Barossa Icons, More Than 10 Years On

I drank three Barossa Icon wines over the last few days. There is always doubt to what extent these Shiraz based, and often high alcohol wines can go the distance. Well, the answer is clear: the well-made ones can.

The 2002 Wolf Blass Black Label is a blend of predominantly Barossa Shiraz and Barossa and Langhorne Creek Cabernet Sauvignon. Blueberry, blackberry and plum flavours are still strong and dominating a well balanced structure. Oak is still quite noticable. The tannins have softened and are quite silky now, and the long finish is fruity, but not sweet. The wine has medium to full bodied weight, quite pleasant, and it is a good time to drink this wine now, although it will last well for a few more years. This is an excellent example of the under-appreciated workings of a Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon blend.

Score: 94/++

The 2001 Henschke Mt. Edelstone has an incredibly strong and lifted bouquet of mulberry flavours. This continues onto the complex palate, where smoky and ham flavours are also present. The wine is quite peppery and elegant (more so than the other two). There is a lightness in this wine, yet it is strong at the same time, with silky tannins and a long finish This is a brilliant example of mature Australian Shiraz. Again, now is a good time to drink this wine.

Score: 96/+++

The 2002 Torbreck RunRig was massive on release, and the richness, boldness, and depth of blackberry fruit is still there. The tannins are firm, and the structure of the wine is holding up well. Unfortunately, there is a taste of a bit of burnt fruit on the finish, and the wine tastes slightly hot. The wine might  mellow over the next three years and therefore improve its profile.

Score: 94/+    

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