Sunday, October 27, 2019

Tyrrell's Masterclass (Part 3) - The Red Icons

After the tastings at the winery, it is off to the Muse restaurant to taste the four Shiraz wines from single vineyards more than 100 years old. But before, we have time to taste the 2017 HVD Chardonnay, from perhaps the oldest Chardonnay vineyard in the world, planted in 1908. The second oldest is in South Africa, and France does not come near it.

There is flintiness in this wine, which saw no malolactic fermentation, but also some weight on the palate. White peach and passionfruit flavours complement the citrus. The wine is a bit like a Meursault, a little fat on the finish (94 points). 

The review of the reds starts with the 2018 8 Acres Shiraz. The production of these wines is only 200 cases each, so it is a rare privilege to taste them all side by side. Otherwise, they are only available to club members, and even there is a wait-list. The 8 acres vineyard was planted in 1892. The fruit flavours are in the blackberry and blueberry spectrum. This is an elegant wine, very young obviously, medium-bodied. The tannins are quite slight (94 points).

The second wine is from the even older 1879 4 acres vineyard, the mothership from which cuttings for other vineyards are taken. The 2014 4 Acres Shiraz has a similar flavour profile, with a bit more age to it. It is a very smooth wine with a silky texture and a 'quiet', steely penetration (96 points).

The other vineyards are based on red volcanic soil, whereas the 2014 Johnno's Shiraz was grown on sandy soil. This wine has a very fresh and lighter mouthfeel. It is a very lush and feminine wine. The structure does not have quite the backbone of the other three (94 points). 

Finally the 2014 Old Patch Shiraz, from a vineyard planted in 1867 - 150 year old vines. This wine is absolutely singing on the palate, with lifted flavours of blueberry and forest berries. The intensity of the flavours goes on and on, although the wine still feels tight. The mouthfeel is fantastic with silky tannins creating great harmony. The finish is long and lasting (98 points).

Participating in this tasting has been a rare treat. This was world class Shiraz at its best.  

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