The 1976 Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cab (I think it was called Claret, at that time) that I enjoyed in Melbourne 40-some years ago has become a legend. At 44 years of age, it is still drinking well, I have read. Unfortunately, the 2005 version that I am drinking tonight does not come from Koonunga Hill vineyards but is rather named and styled after that wine. That is a big difference. It's still a decent wine but beginning to show its age a mere 12 years after the vintage.
Still a deep, dark Shiraz color. The bouquet is lovely and unique to the Shiraz/Cab blend. Reminds me of chocolate. Chocolate covered cherries. Flavors are not as interesting as the smells, but that may be because I am eating Triscuits and black bean soup. There is a bit of a sharp edge on the palate that might be a sign of age. Australian wines definitely do not age as well as they did in the mid-1970s. But Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet, at about $8 a bottle, is still a good value for every day drinking.
On the second night, I am ready to revise my initial impression. Tonight, it has that warm, chocolate-tinged feel that seems to characterize Shiraz/Cab wines. For $8 to $10, this is still a good wine for early drinking or medium-term aging.