WCC Australian Shiraz Blind
at Mo's BBQ, Troy, NY (4/28/2005)

The WCC met for a blind tasting of Australian Shiraz at a local Southern-style BBQ place called Mo's in Troy, NY. It is the authentic, slow-cooked, smoked chicken and pork, and incredibly delicious. Everyone loved the food and it went beautifully with the Shiraz. We had chicken, then pulled pork, then ribs. [Sadly, Mo's closed around 2007.]

Our group rankings are listed after the name of each wine for the 6 wines that got votes, followed by the info on which the rankings were calculated, in the format (a1, a2, a3, pts) where a1 = # first place votes, a2 = # second place votes, a3 = # third place votes, and pts = total points = [(3 x a1) + (2 x a2) + (1 x a3)]. My notes and scores are included for each wine.

I think the biggest surprise of the evening was just how outstanding the 1992 and 1993 Penfolds Grange are. These are not considered great vintages and got modest scores from RP, but this night these were great wines!


1998 Yalumba D Cuvée Black, Sparkling Shiraz/Cab
Big, smoky, shiraz, red fruit nose. Very dry. Tasty, unusual. Refreshing. Strange. Has less ripe fruit than I would have expected. Interesting, but why make this?

Flight 1: Older Wines

1.1. 1986 Chateau Tahbilk Shiraz, Goulburn Valley
Mature, earthy, appealing nose. Soft, tasty, mature, but plenty of black cherry fruit. Nice. 89 points.
[This was one of my last few bottles of this wine which I bought in the late 80's for about $3.50. I bought 5 cases.]

1.2. 1989 Rosemount Syrah Show Reserve, McLaren Vale
Big cherry vanilla nose. Really yummy red fruits. Still has tannin! Long finish. Impressive. 91 points.

1.3. 1990 Taltarni Shiraz, Pyrenees, Victoria
Muted, slightly musty nose. Tired, OTH. I think all the bottles of this wine were cooked from the beginning. :( 68 points.

Flight 2: Middle Aged Wines

2.1. 1994 Mount Langi Ghiran Shiraz, Victoria
Wow, black pepper nose! Ready, fruity, spicy. 92 points.
Open 1 hour: Starting to dry out. 88 points.

2.2. 1995 Ch. Reynella Basket Pressed Shiraz, McLaren Vale
Allspice nose. Dry, eucalyptus, interesting. 89 points.

2.3. 1995 Barossa Valley Estate, E&E Black Pepper Shiraz, Adelaide Plains, 4th place (0,1,5,7)
Explosive nose. Full in the mouth. Wow! 95 points.

2.4. 1996 D'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz, McLaren Vale, 6th place (0,0,1,1)
Dark black fruits and grilled meat. Exquisite chocolate mid-palate. Incredible length. Terrific wine! Thick, dark. Tastes of Kaluha. Could use 5 more years. 96 points

Flight 3: Grange

3.1. 1992 Penfolds Grange Shiraz, South Australia, 3rd place (4,0,1,13)
Huge cherry vanilla nose. Thick, tannic, young. Wow! Loads of stuffing. Needs 5 years. 94-95 points.
Open 1 week: Beautiful!! A gorgeous wine! Drink 2010 – 2020.

3.2. 1993 Penfolds Grange Shiraz, South Australia, 1st place (3,6,0,21)
Huge spicy. Less fruit and more structure than the one above. Incredible nose! Great now. A kick-ass wine! Should drink well till 2020 or later. 97 points. Tied for my WOTN with 4.2.

Flight 4: Younger Wines

4.1. 2003 Torbreck The Struie Shiraz, Barossa Valley, 5th place (0,0,2,2)
Huge woody vanilla nose. Thick tannic huge in the mouth. Long tannic finish, but loads of young juicy fruit. Even better with ribs. Yummy! Good value @ $40. 94 points.
Open 1 week: Delightful. Drink now – 2013.

4.2. 1997 Torbreck Run Rig Shiraz, Barossa Valley, 2nd place (3,3,1,16)
Stunning, ethereal nose! Huge, backward, massive. Needs 10 years. A great young wine. 95-98 points. Tied for my WOTN with 3.2.
Open 1 week: A great and glorious wine. Drink 2012 – 2025.

4.3. 1997 Chateau de Saint Cosme, Cote Rotie
Huge black fruit and soy nose. Very acidic. Tart. Don't know about this. Lovely nose, terrible palate. Strange that our one ringer was a bad bottle. NR

4.4. 1999 Maxwell, Ellen Street, Shiraz, McLaren Vale
Big, tart, spicy. A little thin. Needs time? 91? points.




All original content © Ken Vastola