Fine Shiraz / Syrah: Australia, California, Washington State, N.Rhone
An opportunity to taste rare and refined Shiraz / Syrah from locations where it performs at its best.
To begin with a couple of youngsters: Christopher Baron’s impressive 2005 Cayuse Cailloux , from Walla Walla in Washington State which is clearly a lovely, minerally Syrah source; then an unusual chance to compare two versions of Henschke’s elegant 2004 Mount Edelstone Shiraz, under cork and under Stelvin screwcap , to re-view the arguments as to which, or whether, one is preferable!
I wanted to include a 2001 Kongsgaard Syrah because I so enjoyed the 2009 vintage earlier this year, which I confidently identified as a fine Hermitage (!) at the Pol Roger 60th Anniversary Oxford & Cambridge Blind Tasting. Parker describes the 2001 as a “dead ringer for a more exotic version of Chapoutier’s great Ermitage Le Pavillon ” so it seemed a nice idea to try it next one of these: the splendid 1995 .
Finally three 1998 Syrah/Shiraz icons, great expressions of the grape in utterly different styles, all in early maturity at 15 years and, in the case of Australia, from a splendid vintage. Chave’s Hermitage is almost burgundian in its combination of finesse and scent; Henschke’s Hill of Grace is, in the Australian context, the stylistic antithesis of Grange. Hill of Grace is very much the product of an individual terroir (as distinct from Grange’s expression of a style), a wine of New World generosity and fruit core, but of most seductive suppleness and – yes – grace. Penfolds Grange aims unashamedly and deliberately for richness and power, and the sixth (2008) edition of The Rewards of Patience (a five yearly review of Penfolds’ wines by a handful of critics from round the globe) describes the 1998 as ‘spectacular’. Wines from £50 to £490 a bottle retail.
2004 Henschke Mt Edelstone Shiraz (cork closure); Eden Valley, South Australia
2004 Henschke Mt Edelstone Shiraz (stelvin screwcap closure); Eden Valley, South Australia
2005 Cayuse Cailloux Syrah; Walla Walla, Washington State, USA
2001 Kongsgaard Syrah; Napa Valley, California, USA
1995 Ermitage Le Pavillon (Chapoutier); Northern Rhône, France
1998 Hermitage (Chave); Northern Rhône, France
1998 Henschke Hill of Grace Shiraz; Eden Valley, South Australia
1998 Penfolds Bin 95 Grange Shiraz; South Australia
8 wines, and cheeses ...... £139.00