Saturday, July 21, 2012

Cooralook Heathcote Shiraz, 2008

The late Trevor Mast, who knew a good Shiraz when he tasted one, had a great respect for Heathcote Shiraz. Aside from his own excellent vineyards at Mount Langi Ghiran, Trevor thought of Heathcote as one of the best sources for top quality Australian Shiraz. Following Trevor's advice, I am constantly on the lookout for Heathcote Shiraz, but, unfortunately, other wine lovers have already discovered Heathcote Shiraz and raised the bidding beyond my comfort level. When I saw this offering from Cooralook on the shelf at Bacchus in Kalamazoo, the $17 price tag looked like a screaming bargain. The proof is in the tasting, of course.

Deep and dark, as you might expect from a young Shiraz./ Very fruit forward style; this is apparently an emerging trend that is not always wholeheartedly welcomed by more traditionally oriented Australian wine drinkers. Black raspberries, blue plums, cassis and spice. Very few, if any, oak tannins in sight. 14.5% alcohol works well with this style. Full bodied and rich with crushed boysenberry fruit on the palate. Not a French Syrah, but not really an Aussie Shiraz either. Delightful right now but in a style similar to that of a current vintage of Jean Descombes Morgon, a cru Beaujolais. Jean Descombes ages beautifully, and this wine may too. But I know many Australian drinkers who probably wouldn't give this wine a second look.

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