It’s very unfashionable to say you enjoy the ‘traditional’ sweet and soft Aussie Shiraz wines in certain circles nowadays, especially as the Australian industry is favouring and rewarding the Rhone style wines that the word “Syrah” signifies. To be fair, the Syrah-styled wines with their elegance and freshness are very drinkable. But there’s a big move in drinkers eschewing the broader, weightier, riper styles, and it’s a pity that people’s backs are turning what the country has had a fantastic and proven history at doing well and unlike any other country. There’s a time and place for it all, and cooler seasons and hearty, meaty fare is ideal for Aussie Shiraz as we used to know it.
The 2004 Beresford McLaren Vale Shiraz fitted the bill perfectly. Dark, very soft anf mature, with beautifully interwoven aromas and flavours, this was dense with ripe black pepper and plums, cedar and eucalypt, and raisins, spices and everything nice. Smooth as velvet, but with real push and substance too. It didn’t have the lifted and piquant florals, nor the fresh and lacy acid linearity. Instead, it was a sullen wine in those terms, but one with beauty nevertheless.