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Old worlders go away!

And, no bad jokes about Nicole Kidman.

Being a longtime "sipper" and short-time collector, I'm a bit stymied by what I might expect out of some of the big Aussie Shiraz's I've been enjoying (Kilikanoon, Yangarra, Mollydooker etc. . .) with 10 or more years of cellaring as some notes recommend. The "duh" response would be to "just go taste some," but aged Aussie Shiraz is tough to come by locally, and it's easier to ask here for advisement.

Ex: The 2004 Kilikanoon Testaments that I've had this year are delicious, yet the WS rating recommends a window of 2010-2020.

With wines like Bordeaux and BdM, there's such a clear tannin dropoff, and amazing depth of flavor that comes with significant age that it's a no-brainer as to why the ageing needs to happen. With these Aussie Bombs, I'd imagine that the fruit will diminish with time, but with tannin levels and acidity that are not unpleasant in the least, why age? In other words, will the secondary phenolic complexity be that profound in a decade?

Thx!
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quote:
Originally posted by indybob:
Anybody? I'm sure somebody's had 15-20 year old Aussie Fruit Bomb Shiraz.


Correct, they haven't been around for 15-20 years.

Some of the first examples I have tried have not faired well. The 94 Clarendon Hills I had at 8 years old had seen better days.

There has been much debate over the 98 Fox Creek Shiraz, some thinking it got better and some thinking it was going south.

One of the best early examples is the Bullers 1991 Callipoe Shiraz. That was a fruit bomb before the phrase had been coined. At 15 years of age it was drinking well and holding up with no problem. Whilst it had smooth out and softened beautifully, it certainly hadn't gained the complexity that you would expect and will say a quality Bordeaux.

If the wine has the structure to last, there is no reason why it why it wont last despite the high alcohol. The issue here is the ability of the person reviewing the wine to correctly pick the ageing ability of the label. There is also a huge difference between lasting and improving. Some of these fruit bombs will last but not very many of them will actually improve.
I recently had the Thorn Clarke Wiliam Randell Shiraz from the 99, 02, and 04 vintages. I saw no benefit from the additional age.

The only reason I would buy a shiraz is if I was looking for a mouthcoating, tooth staining experience and that is what there was less of with the 99. It seemed to have more finesse and grace but again that's not what I would want from a shiraz.

I am not however saying that shiraz isn't capable of aging just that I personally prefer them young.
I really am not sure about the aging ability of Aussie wines. While this is not a Shiraz, I did have a 1997 Clarendon Merlot last year, and it was ok, but well past its prime and it was declining rapidly.

When it comes to wines that can age, I have more confidence in the French, Spanish, American and Portugese wines. There are plenty of wines from each of these regions that can go past 20 years.

As for wines based on the Syrah, the only ones I would trust at this point to go past the 10 year mark are from France.
quote:
Originally posted by PetiteSyrahFan:
I really am not sure about the aging ability of Aussie wines.

As for wines based on the Syrah, the only ones I would trust at this point to go past the 10 year mark are from France.


Oy..... Eek

There are a number of Aussie Shiraz that aren't even approaching their prime at 10 years, PSF. You need to get out a little more!! Razz

PH
This is an excellent question. I think the general answer would be the last thing TORB said, which is that the fruit in a well-made wine of this style will recede and the wine will become a little more balanced and show a little more of the secondary characteristics. Whether you like that better than when it is young and the fruit and size of the wine are most prominent, that is up to you.

I've had some Clarendon Hills shiraz and grenache from 1996-1998 with good results, though I don't think those were ever considered the "fruit bombs" when they were young. I also wait a few years on Yangarra shiraz (still drinking 2002s, and they are still great), and they do very nicely for that sort of short-medium aging, though I would probably drink them within 6-7 years of the vintage date, and not expect 10-20 years. I also don't consider Yangarra a fruit bomb, though; I think their wines are all in a very balanced style.

For those of you with an eBob subscription, the Executive Wine Seminar did a blind tasting of older big-name shiraz (Black Pepper, Grange, Astralis, Dead Arm, etc.). The results were widely divergent, some very high scores and many very low ones, and overall it was generally more negative than I would have expected.

Aged Shiraz
quote:
Originally posted by PetiteSyrahFan:
I really am not sure about the aging ability of Aussie wines. While this is not a Shiraz, I did have a 1997 Clarendon Merlot last year, and it was ok, but well past its prime and it was declining rapidly.

When it comes to wines that can age, I have more confidence in the French, Spanish, American and Portugese wines. There are plenty of wines from each of these regions that can go past 20 years.

As for wines based on the Syrah, the only ones I would trust at this point to go past the 10 year mark are from France.


Um....Grange, Hill Of Grace, Mount Edelstone, St Henri, St Peters, Mount Langhi Ghiran, Dalwhinnie, Rockford Basket Press, Bests Bin 0 and Thompsons, Taltarni, Veritas Hanisch, Jasper Hill.....

In a good vintage, some of these I wouldn't touch before 10 years, and all will exceed 10 years effortlessly, most with improvement (assuming you like secondary characteristics in shiraz). Note that these are NOT "fruit bombs".

Stating Aussie wines don't age is like asking what a particular vintage is like in Oz. Big country, many varied styles - most of which aren't built for ageing, some of which are.

As for the original question, I don't really buy the style. I have a few early/mid 90's Grant Burge Meshachs in the cellar pegged for drinking soon - this is probably the closest to a "fruit bomb" style that I have, though I suspect they still have a little more structure than the Parker Point Chasers of today.
I've been saving a few of the Marquis Philips wines from 01 and 02, including the base level Shiraz and Sarah's, as well as a few of the S2 cabs and Shiraz 9s. My last attempt at an 01 was a bottle of the Shiraz in July of this year. I liked it quite a bit, but according to my CT note I wasn't sure if it was better a few years before or if it needed more time!

I'll continue on my experiments with these wines in particular. When these were big sellers the buzz was "they won't age", but I didn't see how anyone could know that, so I stuck them away. I'll come back to this thread if I remember as I continue to drink these, but I'm going to try to let them sit a while longer (I'd love to see them at their 10th or 12th birthdays).
quote:
Originally posted by dr.darkrichandbold:
I'm with otis.

The "fruit bombs" are best consumed young. Many of them will last past 10 years, but I doubt many will be better in 10 years.


That's good to hear. I mean, I have quite a few Torbreck "Run Rig" and "The Factor" I might as well enjoy now while my other California and Italian "Big Boy Wines" age. Smile
I had a bottle of 1996 Fox Creek Reserve Shiraz about a year ago, and it was showing beautifully. This was, I think, Spark Marquis' first year there.

Instead of the fruit bomb, the wine had mellowed a little. It was deep and just slightly tannic and had hints (instead of deep deep flavors) of black cherry and raspberry.

I wish I had more of this.

When I met Sparky about a month ago, I asked him about this wine, and he said it was one of his best.

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