Saturday, December 5, 2020

St. Hallett Higher Earth Syrah

 St. Hallett is one of the stalwart wineries in the Barossa. Its wines are competently made and reliable. However like others, St Hallett has felt the pressure to if not move away from ripe Shiraz, at least offer an alternative. Along comes the 2018 St. Hallett Higher Earth Syrah from Eden Valley.

The Syrah labeling indicates this is cooler climate. Also, French oak is used instead of the more common American oak in the Barossa. So, does this wine deliver on its promises?

There is raspberry, red plum and white pepper on the palate. This is not your typical dark fruited Barossa Valley profile, yet the wine is still full-bodied and quite ripe (14.5% alc.). The shape is quite broad in the mouth, the firm tannins are harsh.

This experiment is not a success. This was supposed to be an elegant wine. I expected blue fruit and a driven wine. Instead it is quite ripe red fruit, without the lushness of an equivalent Barossa Valley Shiraz. Is this a case of a leopard not being able to change its spots? Compare this with Head, for example, which achieves the expected fresh and elegant results, even with Barossa Valley fruit.

Score: 89/-



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