Thursday, April 30, 2009

Nine Stones McLaren Vale Shiraz, 2005

The last time I reviewed this wine [January 10, 2008], I noted the rare combination of power and beauty, comparing it to a Gigondas. I opened this bottle to drink side-by-side with a good Gigondas, and I still like the comparison (but prefer the Gigondas).

The color is much deeper and darker than the Tourade Gigondas. The wine is seven years younger and still has youthful bluish tints. Coffee tinged new oak is immediately apparent on the nose but there are also scents of fresh blackberries, cassis and a faint hint of herbs (usually not found in New World Shiraz). As I noted in my earlier review, McLaren Vale wines are noted for their strong mid-palate, and that's one of the things I like most about this wine. Flavors are strong (and pretty) from front to back. Compared to the Gigondas, there are a boat load of tannins (too many for my taste), but the wine is still young. And it's not Gigondas.

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