It continues to flourish with irregular and infrequent, but positive get-togethers. The last time was a dinner, and this time they were on a journey from one end of the country to the other, calling in on us, as they continued with their travel. I’m sure their lives have all types of flavours, but essentially they working and having fun, so it’s a good flavour.
The analogy to two Shiraz/Syrah wines was very obvious. We all seem to love the Shiraz/Syrah grape when it is dome properly, and are happy to accept the differences in style, especially when climate has a say in how the wine tastes. There is a continuum of aromas and flavours that is a family, and all the wines along it bear a basic and core resemblance. Taking a wine from one far end, say cool-climate and comparing it to the polar opposite, from a very hot region, and allowing vintage conditions have a say, one could easily think there was no similarity.
Our dinner had two such wines. The cool was the 2006 Te Mata ‘Bullnose’ Hawke’s Bay Syrah. Very elegant and extremely aromatic. Perfumes with pepper and spices, and silky smooth on the palate with lovely fresh mouthfeel from the acidity. The penetrating aromas and flavours were certainly the feature. Deliciously fine stuff! And alongside it, a 2008 Penfolds ‘Bin 150’ Marananga Barossa Valley Shiraz. Ultra dark, ripe and densely concentrated, Black fruits with liquorice and spices, with chocolate, and masses of weight and texture. Sweet and lush, and very mouthfilling. There was a spice and pepper theme, albeit different in expression. One refreshingly light, the other heavy and sweet. Both satisfying and both great to drink.