Three shiraz, two cabernet sauvignon wines, four regions and three vintages.
Mitolo ‘The Nessus’ McLaren Vale Shiraz 2016: It’s young, and the nose is wonderfully fresh, vibrant fruits. I’m sure it will get more complex and probably go through a dumb stage as well, but for now it’s a joy, it’s springtime (though tasted in June). It’s alive across the palate, with light skipping hops, again full of joy. Light wine and light finish but good. 93 points and very fair value at $15.
Blue Pyrenees ‘Estate’ Shiraz 2014: Pepper, mixed spice and oak from nose through palate to finish. It’s a wine with bite. It grips the palate and the Western Victorian spice character kicks in. It’s a wine for food, not to sit chatter and sip. It’s a meat eater’s wine, rugged and very good in that context. 92 points and worth $26.
Plantagenet ‘Lancaster’ Mount Barker Shiraz 2014: Light on the nose; whatever is coming across, it’s as if it’s from a distance. I can smell it but not place it. Gentle in the mouth: a smooth tide of flavours moves back and forth as the whole travels across the palate. Don’t let me lead you into thinking this is a weak wine; it’s silky elegant and very good indeed. Not all shiraz has to be heavyweight. 94 points and worth $35.
Huntington Estate ‘Block Three’ Mudgee Cabernet Sauvignon 2012: Blackcurrant on the nose along with some damp hedgerow. Drinking divinely, with fruit, acid and tannin in balance. Sits light on the palate but is no weakling; the power is well toned, not big beef. 98 points and worth $65.
Huntington Estate Mudgee Cabernet Sauvignon 2012: For me, this wine is at its peak. The fruit has dried but is far from gone. The character of mature wine is emerging. Its reach is long and the flavour delves deep. 96 points and at $26 this must be the best bargain around. A case for drinking over the next year would be a good investment in pleasure.