Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Rustic and Tertiary

We’ve been holding onto a wine to share with The Young One for a number of years.  No, it’s not the year of his birth, or anything particularly special, except the label shares his name, and the wine has been highly rated.  The Young One now resides in another city, but he came home for a few days, and it was appropriate to bring out the bottle, open it and share it.

The 1998 Oliver’s Taranga McLaren Vale Shiraz was made from old vines, and by all accounts was a typical McLaren Vale fruit bomb with sweetness and ripeness.  That was in its younger days of course.  Now with nearly two decades on it, it could be assumed to have developed somewhat.  And it had.  Still very dark in colour, but now with brick and orange, the wine opened with immense volume and presence on the nose and palate.  The initial fruit expression was of ripe dark red and black plums with liquorice and chocolate.  This was a good start.  Very sweet and ripe on the palate, and again promising for it.  Then slowly, but surely the tertiary characters became more prominent.  Savoury and cooked fruits entwined with earth and undergrowth.  What was rich and lush began turning into soupy.  What was plush began to move into coarse, funky and then grubby.  This wasn’t decrepit by any means, but it became rustic.  The wine had its supporters for sure, but SWMBO and I became less than enamoured, even though it bore The Young One’s name.  The Young One, ever so diplomatic, said he thought it interesting in a good way.  Bless him.       

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