2010 Tyrrell’s Wines Vat 8 Shiraz Cabernet, Hunter Valley-Hilltops

I can’t remember the last time I had a Tyrrell’s red. It’s usually just semillon that crosses my lips, and even then that is not as common as I would like.

Shiraz Cabernet is the blend that we all like to call our own. Australian that is. Who else would be so avant garde to mix grapes from Bordeaux and the Rhone? Only crazy Australians with no sense of history of tradition, that’s who. Or so the story goes.

It smells like it’s from the Hunter. That is far too hard for me to substantiate, it just does. It has dark sweet fruit, leather, spice and baked earth. There is a little eucalypt in there too amid the cocoa. A part of me likes to think that the wine made in the winery has its own smell. That nurturing environment of all the local yeasties and beasties that unlock certain smells or create them for that matter. It makes it quite personal, and I like things that are personal.

Bright colour, spicy attack in the mouth, something red and something black, perhaps a result of the two regions. Hot in the Hunter and cool in the Hilltops. The acid is super fresh and draws the wine along your mouth, it is but a pup, and everyone knows, little dogs need time to relax, just like this. There is no obvious Cabernet expression, certainly not one defined by capsicum that is. I do get some cassis if I think about it with my eyes closed, however the 8% addition of Cab is not there to dominate.The tannins appear oak derived, sucking the moisture from my cheeks. I want to taste this again in 12 months, when it will be a little more layered and settled. It seems like there is something that could blossom, but today one could only speculate about its future. For around RRP $70 one would hope something magical happens in the cellar.

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