Beautiful McLaren Vale Shiraz

2-girl-in-suitcaseA case of shiraz. In this dozen shiraz wines from McLaren Vale, the consistency is incredible: points range from 93 to 95. The Vale is a beautiful place, full of wonderful people making fantastic wines.

Shingleback ‘Aficionado’ McLaren Vale Shiraz 2015: An exclusive to Vintage Cellars, this is a sound, damn fine shiraz that sells for $12 in any six. Worth every penny and worth 93 points.

Allegiance ‘The Tiger’ McLaren Vale Shiraz 2015: Not a simple wine but a simple review: it’s all it should be and a bit more. An easy 93 points and an easy price at $25.

Oliver’s ‘Taranga Vineyards’ McLaren Vale Shiraz 2014: Sexy, warm and welcoming. OK, I tasted it on a cold, blustery day and it hit the right spot. I’m retreating from the 101 points I gave all the shirazes I tasted that day but still giving it a very respectable 94 points. I recommend it unreservedly. Price is OK at $30.

Mitolo ‘The Nessus’ McLaren Vale Shiraz 2014: This is good, honest, immensely enjoyable McVale shiraz, and only $15. 93 points.

McLaren Vale Associates ‘Squid Ink’ McLaren Vale Shiraz 2014: Power on the nose and for me overpowering in the mouth. It’s not just raw youth. It’s a big wine with all bells and whistles ringing and blowing, plus oak – tons and tons of oak. Will it settle? I’m not sure it will. But it will have a legion of fans so if you’re into big wine, go for it. If not, don’t. 93 points because it’s well made and just because it’s not my style there’s no need to judge it poorly. But I think the $55 price is high.

Chapel Hill ‘The Vicar’ McLaren Vale Shiraz 2014: Vicar is an honourable calling, but this wine deserves to be higher in ecclesial ratings. Bishop at least. Even Archbishop. It’s a wine of reverence, one that brings on contemplation, a drop of heaven on earth. 95 points and worth the $75 asked.

Chapel Hill ‘Road Block’ McLaren Vale Shiraz 2014: Unusually for a McVale shiraz, this has lots of savoury characters. It’s almost Hunter Valley in certain aspects, and is incredibly complex on its journey, with a bittersweet combination that works. 94 points and worth $65.

McLaren Vale Associates ‘Legacy’ Reserve McLaren Vale Shiraz 2013: Black magic in liquid form. All the beauty of the deep and dark. 95 points. It’s good, but I don’t think $120 good.

Mr Riggs McLaren Vale Shiraz 2013: Ben Riggs’s top-of-the-range shiraz, and top of the range it is. Outwardly musclebound, but inwardly gentle. 94 points and $50 is fair value.

Mr McLaren Vale Shiraz 2013: This is Ben Riggs’s entry for the Scarce Earth Project (for more information follow the link). It’s a wine made from Riggs’s own Piebald Gully Burnt Block parcel in Clarendon. It’s smart wine, full of character, and surprisingly approachable. But I also think there is enough to keep it going for a good few years yet. 94 points and a fair price at $50.

Inkwell ‘Deeper Well’ McLaren Vale Shiraz 2011: Deeper Well requires deep pockets at $70 a bottle. If it’s any consolation, it’s worth it. Released at five years old, it is drinking beautifully. The balance is evident from first sip, the power ripples across the palate and the flavours are full and rich but in no way overblown. 95 points.

Parous McLaren Vale Shiraz 2010: A meaty number? Am I really tasting shiraz? I know I am but I did check. It has all the dark, rich fruit character of McLaren Vale shiraz, but for me also has a savoury, meaty character. Really interesting wine to taste and enjoyable wine to drink. 94 points and $80 is the top end of an appropriate price range.

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