Thursday, January 6, 2011

Scott 2009 Shiraz Sangiovese (Adelaide Hills)

I have a lot of time for the Adelaide Hills as a wine region. Ashton Hills is around the top of my South Australian wine tree, but newer producers such as Ngeringa and Mike Press also feature in my buying and drinking. That said, some of the Adelaide Hills standard bearers do not do much for me (the Shaw & Smith shiraz being a case in point - much prefer their chardonnay).

Scott Winemaking is a new Adelaide Hills producer. The range includes a Fiano, a sparkling pinot grigio, a multi-vintage sparkler from the traditional French champagne varieties, and this wine, a blend of 82% shiraz and 18% sangiovese. Blending trials for wines like these must be fascinating - seeing the shifts in flavour, aroma, texture and finish as the balance of the blend alters.

There are the hallmarks of Adelaide Hills shiraz here, with purple fruits, a little tar, some violets and a plushness of texture, especially through the mid palate. The 18% sangiovese adds notes of cherries and a lightness through the length of the wine, including a touch of furry tannins. The overall lift (not VA) of the wine makes me wonder if a bucket of viognier might have found itself in the shiraz ferment at some stage. Delicious is not a word I often use for wine, but there is a fruit-driven succulence to this that warrants the word.

The wine went well with herbed lamb, roast borlotti beans and a dressed salad of broad beans and mint. I doubt it has the bones for age in bottle (not a wine about structure, tannin and acid, more about fruit shape, weight and texture), but that is no bad thing given how well it drinks now. The 20% new and 80% used French oak seems a good balance, but I suspect a little more sangiovese in the blend may have made for a better wine.

14% alcohol, sealed with screwcap, rrp $25 a bottle or $22.50 in a six pack ordered via their website.

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