Monday, August 30, 2010

2007 Thomas Wines Individual Vinyard Sweetwater Shiraz – Hunter Valley

The Hunter Valley is an underrated and underappreciated wine region. Its rich history and ageworthy Semillons and Shiraz deserve a wider audience locally and internationally. Sometimes I think that if the people of New South Wales were more parochial, or if the Hunter Valley was further away from Sydney, had less golf courses, Bed and Breakfast accommodation etc, it would be better known and more appreciated.
At the present time, you would be hard placed to find better examples of Hunter Valley Shiraz and Semillon than those produced by Andrew Thomas. The Thomas Braemore Semillon is up there with the best of Tyrrell's, Brokenwood and Mount Pleasant, same for the Kiss Shiraz.
Prior to a recent trip to the Hunter Valley, I nabbed a bottle of the Thomas Sweetwater Shiraz, one of many ‘individual vineyard’ wines in the Thomas range.
The Sweetwater has red fruit aromas, with raspberry and all-spice prominent. There is nice, and quite obvious vanilla (oak) scent on the nose, though not on the palate. In the mouth the wine has a juicy texture, silky tannins and dominant fruit and it finishes with a bit of sweetness and persistence. This is a moreish wine – the fruit is to the fore. I found myself onto my second glass in a flash, such is the effortless enjoyability of this wine.
To provide some indication of its cellaring potential, on the second day the vanilla oak was still apparent on the nose, and the wine was more savoury on the palate. The red fruit flavours had subsided somewhat, with subtle liquorice, aniseed and slight dark chocolate flavours emerging. The acidity was a bit more pronounced.

Summary: a lovely, highly drinkable and individual wine from a very capable winemaker. (2 asterix are for the uniqueness of this wine - the trend towards single-site Hunter Valley wines is something that I am happy to see, and look out for (eg Tyrrell's single site/vineyard Semillons and Shiraz).


RRP: $35
ABV: 13.8%


Anonymous said...

Really, really happy with this. It's a beauty. Unfortunately I only have one bottle cellared. I doubt I'll find another now. I prefer this to the DJV Shiraz and it worked better as a young wine than the Kiss (which will probably have its measure in time but is just a bit too powerful for my tastes right now).


Brown said...

I definitely agree that this wine works well young. I think it has nice acid to suggest it may age (in a Tyrrell's way), though being so good to drink now, I cannot resist. My bottles of Kiss will be staying in the offsite cellar for some time I imagine :-)
Also, I love the Thomas single site range of wines, and also the Tyrrell's single site range of Reds - reveals the joys of terroir in our oldest wine region.


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