Sunday, September 13, 2009

Barossa Valley New Vintages

This blog has been quiet, not because I have been off wine. Quite the opposite: I have spent the last two weeks in the Barossa on a special wine project - more about this in later posts. I have had many memorable moments, which I will report on in a little while.

I tried many wines, in particular from the drought affected 2007 vintage. The news is not good. Many wines, in particular Shiraz, display dead fruit and cooked characters. This is despite the fact that companies are reducing their alcohol levels in wine. This is also true for $100/bottle wines. I therefore recommend to only buy wine in volume you have tasted before. It appears 2008 is a little better, but it has also been a difficult vintage.

Then along comes 2009. I tasted many barrels and the fruit is outstanding: lively, profound, but also lifted, not too alcoholic and oak generally in the background. Most of the barrel samples were already very balanced. It might be the best vintage of the decade or at least on par with 2004.

If you have a cellar which still holds Barossa wine, you should be tempted to run your stocks down and fill up big when the 09s are released.

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