Six of one, half a dozen of the other
Six shiraz wines from the Barossa and six from McLaren Vale.
Staying with figures, and proving points are not worth the excitement they receive if it is the only point of reference that consumers use, the six Barossa wines are pointed between 93 and 97 with an average of 94.7. It’s impressive.
The six McLaren Vale wines have a points range between 91 and 96, averaging out at 93, which is also good. But does it make the Barossa wines winners? Does it heck. What about adding in the average price? The Barossa comes in at $38 a bottle while the Vale is $25.34. Is an extra 1.7 points worth $12.66 a bottle?
It’s not the points given by people such as myself, or indeed the words written, that is the issue. It’s how wineries, retailers and marketers use them.
The two Mitolo wines without links are exclusive to Langton’s and Cellarmasters.
St Johns Road ‘Block 3’ Barossa Valley Shiraz 2015: The smell is impressive, lifting from the glass long before the nose hovers over it. It’s 14.5 per cent but far from heavy. Plenty of black fruit flavours and good depth along with length. 94 points and $38 is fair value.
St Johns Road ‘Block 8’ Barossa Valley Shiraz 2015: Sniff, think. Sniff, think. Sniff, think again. The nose was so beguiling, so demanding of thought, that it was some time before I got around to tasting the wine. When I did it was liquid beauty, a glass of pure pleasure. 95 points and well worth $38.
St Johns Road ‘Blood & Courage’ Barossa Valley Shiraz 2015: A beautiful mouthful of Barossa shiraz at the very reasonable price of $17 at Dan Murphy’s. I’m not as keen on it as Dan’s fine wine manager Peter Nixon, who gives it 95. I’m 93.
St Johns Road ‘The Evangelist’ Barossa Shiraz 2014: Made from grapes originating in three vineyards: two plantings of 80-year-old vines and a youngster just 55 years old. It’s all that top-quality, old-vine Barossa shiraz should be, and more. A wonderful, wicked temptress that takes one to heights of pleasure. Fantastic wine. 97 points and worth $58.
Yalumba ‘Patchwork’ Barossa Shiraz 2014: It’s Barossa, it’s shiraz and it’s damn good value from Dan’s at $19. 94 points.
Mitolo ‘Reiver’ Barossa Valley Shiraz 2013: A full style, but balance and harmony even out the opulence. This is sensual wine that lingers long after swallowed. 95 points, with maybe more to come, and worth $58.
Mr Riggs ‘The Gaffer’ McLaren Vale Shiraz 2014: On the richer side, but not so big that it’s clumsy. This is full, honest wine that went down a treat on a cold, wet night. 94 points and worth the $24 asked.
Haselgrove ‘First Cut’ McLaren Vale Shiraz 2014: This has richness but is not flashy. A smooth journey reveals dark hints of delight along the way. 94 points and value at $19.
Mr Riggs ‘The Truant’ McLaren Vale Shiraz 2014: A full generous style that was greatly enjoyed by myself and the people with whom I shared it. 91 points and a great bargain ay $17.
Shingleback ‘Red Knot Classified’ McLaren Vale Shiraz 2014: An exclusive to Dan Murphy’s. Well balanced, sound McLaren Vale shiraz. Worth the $19 asked, or $18 in any six. 92 points.
Mitolo ‘Jester’ McLaren Vale Shiraz 2014: Sound wine, enjoyable to drink, but doesn’t get the bells ringing. At $25 it has a lot of competition. 91 points.
Mitolo ‘The Furies’ McLaren Vale Shiraz 2013: McLaren Vale shiraz in all its greatness and beauty. Top quality fruit from vines that are 40 years old plus. The winemaking was respectful to the fruit, and the oak ageing respectful to the wine. It’s drinking beautifully now and the flavours will be further enhanced by the depth and strength underlying them. 96 points and worth $58