Thursday, April 17, 2008

Barossa Valley Shiraz Hamilton's Railway Vineyard, 2000

Tell me what you eat, and I'll tell you what wines you like to drink. Or should like to drink. Clearly the pleasure a wine gives depends a lot on the food it is paired with. When I first tried this wine (January 11, 2008), I was unimpressed; the mid-palate tannins were a bit hard and unfriendly. Last night, I had it with peppered beef tenderloin, and it stood out. This wine is clearly a carnivore.

The color is still deep, dark, nearly opaque. In the tradition of Barossa Shiraz, it has big, bold fruit and oak, but this time, the smells and flavors of the oak and fruit are happily married. It has a thick mouth feel, but the flavors are dancing now on the mid-palate--plums, ripe berries and pepper. Nice ripe finish.

Ordinarily a $12 to $15 wine, this Shiraz was sold for $5.79 on closeout by Harding's Markets, presumably because of concerns that an eight-year-0ld wine might be over the hill. Perish the thought. It's drinking well tonight in part because it's matched with the right food but also because it's just now beginning to open up.

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