Friday, May 18, 2012

Whistler Wines, Shiraz '05 $52

Barossa Valley, Australia

While staying at Whistler Bed & Breakfast, I was told to enjoy a bottle from the owner's cellar for dinner that night. After earlier tastings at nearby wineries, along with a sample of the '09 Whistler Shiraz, I came to feeling this winery had something special to offer. As I perused through the racks filled with many Whistler wines and vintages, it became slightly overwhelming..." what should I pick?" Tasting notes on everything were close at hand to help in my confusion however I finally convinced myself to stop analyzing and just pick one. After process of elimination and the fact that a beautifully made cheese platter tray along with dinner were moments away, the '05 Shiraz was the one! Now keeping in mind, reserve vintages of Shiraz and other varietals were available yet something led me to that wonderful year for wines worldwide, 2005.

Tasting the '09 Shiraz earlier in the day, I was ready to throw down an amazing write up on its flavors, but the '05 was as good and better probably from a little TLC in Chris' cellar, one of the owners who along with his brother and family run this lovely winery.

Being kept on French Oak for 2 years gave me the impression this winery wants to take their time and deliver a great wine and that was clearly evident. Aromas of warm cherry pie, ripe blackberries and subtle toasted oak setup for what was to be a delicious, well balanced wine.

The flavors overall were so smooth with soft tannins and great fruit flavors of jammy blackberries, cocoa and hints of vanilla. A medium spice characteristic in Shiraz was present however not an overpowering peppery flavor as I've tasted in other Shiraz wines. Having this with mild cheeses and salami made for a great start to the evening. I brought the bottle to dinner where we had a grilled calamari with chorizo appetizer then a main course of duck confit.

Simply a perfect wine and knowing that the '09 is just as amazing would have me coming back for more. Unfortunately there isn't distribution in the USA as of now. You may be able to write the winery, (ask for Jayne) and see if they can ship. In the end, if you ever have a chance to stay in The Barossa Valley, their B&B offers pleasant accommodations accompanied by wonderful wines and some of the nicest people. Don't forget to visit with their family of orphan kangaroos on the property.

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