09 May 2011


Chateau Tahbilk 1994 Shiraz (Goulburn Valley) – The vines for this wine were planted in 1860, ungrafted and pre-phylloxera. And while I can’t say if it’s the vines, the terroir, or the winemaking, you have to toss everything you think you know about Aussie shiraz when faced with this wine in your glass. Brash acidity, tart reddish-black berries, peppercorns, cedar, and black dust…no, this isn’t what one thinks of as Australian shiraz, but neither is it European; almost no classic syrah from France or elsewhere tastes like this, either. I can’t decide if this is just a little past its best or is merely amidst a very long and lingering maturity; just based on this bottle I’d guess the former, but I’ve had older versions that were still in development, so patience could also be warranted. This is a true treasure, and proof that its neighbors wines don’t have to be made as they are. Whether or not one prefers that they are is a different question, of course. (5/11)

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