Saturday, February 1, 2014

2009 Tyrrell’s 4 Acres Shiraz (Hunter Valley)

 
 
This was an unexpected treat at a family lunch on Australia day.

The 4 Acres Shiraz is one of the jewels in the Tyrrell’s crown, and indeed for Australian wine more generally.  The 4 Acres vineyard was planted in 1879 by Edward Tyrrell. Like many other century old vineyards in Australia, it was spared the ravages of phylloxera, and since that time has produced a medium-bodied Shiraz very much in the classic “Hunter Burgundy” mode. Tyrrell’s are sensitive to this history and the style, and the viticulture and winemaking reflects this, in particular with the ageing of the wine in large format, old oak. 

We decanted the wine for a few hours before consumption, but it still didn’t reveal too much on the nose – red fruits and some earthiness. To drink however, there is more pleasure to be had. It’s a light-medium bodied Shiraz that is Pinotesque in its weight and mouthfeel. Indeed, forget for a minute the substance here, and it works as a lovely luncheon red. Ponder the wine for a moment however, and there’s a future in the cellar to be excited about. It’s very much acid driven with an insistent yet fine acidity underpinning its medium bodied frame. While light, the fruit has a pitch perfect ripeness to it that carry the flavours through a long finish. Red fruits, mainly cranberry, and a beautiful mouth perfume are given savoury purpose by a lovely earthiness.

The quality of the fruit, the acidity and the latent complexity all lend themselves to the suggestion that this will be something quite special in another 10 years and beyond. The history of Tyrrell’s reds, and Hunter Shiraz more generally give further weight to this proposition. I’ve got 3 bottles in the cellar, the first of which I’ll open in another 10 years or so, from which I’ll take my cue on the remaining two.   






Rated: 4 Stars ++
RRP: $50
ABV: 13.0%
Closure: Screwcap
Drink: 2019-2030+
Website: www.tyrrells.com.au


Red

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