Thursday, July 10, 2008

Forefathers McLaren Vale Shiraz 2004

McLaren Vale
14.4% alcohol

From the bottle notes:

Forefathers is a collection of single vineyard, single varietal wines produced in the most renown appellations of the New Wrold. The exceptional combination of exposure, soil and climate in these apellations stamp their signature on the classic varietals. In turn, these new World appellations have become the "forefather" or new benchmark for these wines.

In your hand is a wine created by winemaker Nick Goldschmidt from shiraz grapes grown on a prime 15-acre vineyard on Coppermine Road in the McLaren Vale. This wine is rich with notes of plum, spice and sweet vanilla.

This was a dark shiny new purple, just what you would expect from a new shiraz.

It is from Australia. Between that and the bottle notes of "plum, spice and sweet vanilla" I expect an oaky fruit-bomb. That is not, however, what shows up first on the nose. The first whiff is barnyard and earth, more Rhone than Australia. Plums, blackberries and pepper follow, but this does not scream "AUSTRALIA!!!," at least not on the nose. On the palate, a bit more so, though not completely spoofulated. Blackberry and vanilla are there for sure, but there is also spice and cedar and, to my surprise, some tobacco. On night one, this was a fairly well balanced wine.


Cedar and spice, then vanilla and blueberries, are the second-night nose. Plums, spice, and a touch of tobacco open the palate and is then sweetened by brown sugar and vanilla on the midpalate, followed by blackberries and vanilla. The feel is rich, mouth-filling.vvThe finish is long, the tanins smooth and sweet.

This is good wine. It is not great wine, for it lacks any delicacy, but it is certainly good, well balanced, and quite reasonably priced at about $20. I have about half a glass left. Perhaps we can see how it fares on night three.

Nope, I need to pull back on this one a bit. By the time I was halfway through a glass it had become cloying, all brown sugar and vanilla. I was fooled up front, but as the glass went on it just seemed to get sweeter and sweeter.

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