No Small Shirv

Impenetrable black night, staining as all get out, crimson edges running wide and heavy up the glass sides.  Green brier and  herb-crusted meat–an animal dripping over the spit, burnt rubber and glycerine, waxy fat and banana cream pie over kid-skin gloves–un-dyed, olives and artichokes and everywhere the roasted meat gravitas churns coriander into the sunset.

My love for hi-end Australians is well-documented.  Unfortunately, they are almost IMPOSSIBLE to find here on the Central Coast of California.  When one comes along it is a welcome treat–and THIS ONE is even sproting a CORK-CLOSURE!!! something almost impossible to find coming out of Australia these days.

In the mouth, all of the herbaceousness of the nose is forgotten.  All of the dense ripeness of the nose is forgotten.  The glycerine, the light wet leather, all goes away as a fairly light, extremely acidic, balanced, spicy-fruit offering flows over your tongue.  Concentrated, yes, but clean pure fruit.  None of the candied dessert of the bouquet pass through to the palate.  Spicy and with an edge of heat, fruit sullen and bright at the same time, churning the tastebuds in all directions.

A remarkable wine, one NOT showing six years of age and easily with another 10 to go.  The alcohol scares me a bit, but it drinks so clean, so effortless, finish so brilliant–dry tannin and mineral–I think this can be one of those Australian wonders which–despite its proof–can out-show hi-octane Cali offerings be a decade with both hands tied behind its back.

2011 SHIRVINGTON Shiraz McLaren Vale Australia 15.5


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