Wine review — Tyrrell’s, Tulloch and Penfolds

Tyrrell’s Rufus Stone Heathcote Shiraz 2007 $16–$24
Tyrrell’s Rufus Stone McLaren Vale Shiraz 2007 $16–$24

This excellent pair from Tyrrell’s invariably attracts trade attention, resulting in very low prices for wines of such quality and provenance. As I write they’re available for as little as $15.99 by the dozen – a real bargain as they drink so deliciously and have the capacity to age well for another five or six years. The Heathcote (Victoria) wine is a big but harmonious red — generously fruity and showing peppery varietal character with fine, soft tannins.  The McLaren Vale wine presents the riper, warm-grown face of shiraz with chocolaty rich flavours and distinctive regional savouriness.

Tulloch Private Bin Pokolbin Dry Red Shiraz 2007 $35
This is the third vintage of the reborn Tulloch Private Bin Red, a once legendary, long-cellaring wine that was as much an icon to the red drinkers of the fifties as Grange is today. The modern version’s made from the 100-plus-year-old vines of the Tallawanta vineyard.  This is pure, beautifully made Hunter shiraz – intensely flavoured, finely structured, silk smooth and elegant. There’s not a rough edge to it – tribute to superb fruit and sympathetic wine making. It should drink beautifully for decades if well cellared. The Tulloch label returned to the Tulloch family in 2001 after 32 years under corporate ownership.

Penfolds Bin 51 Eden Valley Riesling 2008 $26–$32
Penfolds released this wine last year and after a re-tasting a few weeks back I rate it as the best 2008 riesling yet tasted – and that’s saying something in such a stellar vintage. It’s of impeccable pedigree, coming from two famous Eden Valley vineyards – the former Tollana Woodbury site and High Eden, established by David Wynn. It’s bone dry, weighs in it just 11.5 per cent alcohol and has classic, intense, fine lemon/lime flavours and taut, steely acid backbone. Penfolds estimate its drinking life at 5–7 years, but I’ve no doubt it’ll be pleasing drinkers in 20 years if it’s well cellared.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2009