Saturday, April 19, 2008

2005 Tir Na N'Og "Old Vines" GRENACHE (McLaren Vale, Australia)

Wow! This was a huge, hedonistic wine! Australia is best known for its Shirazes, but I think their most underrated varietal is Grenache (which is the primary varietal in many wines grown in the southern Rhone Valley in France, such as Chateauneuf-du-Pape), and this is one of the best I've had.

Eye: Deep, saturated, soft black ruby.

Nose: Amazing nose -- sweet, oozingly ripe spiced raspberries, blueberry and apricot too, with smoky carrot cake scents as well.

Mouth: Rich, weighty, deep flavors of ripe raspberry syrup, pepper, spicy minerals, and balsa wood. Great weight and concentration, yet softly-textured. Tremendously long finish.

Score: 92.

Cellar or drink? This will keep for a year or two, but my experience with Grenache-based wines this huge and ripe is that they're best drunk relatively young. As they age, the fruit recedes, and the alcohol (which is pushing 16% in this baby) starts to intrude.

Price/Store: $28 at Spec's on Smith.

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