Although our second tasting of Barossa Valley Shiraz did not produce a blockbuster, "wow" wine, the group overall enjoyed the diversity of flavors these offered, and every bottle received points except for one. The third place wine made it on to the podium by only one point.
Thanks to first time taster Kristin Amico, and Ina for filling the guest taster seats.
First Place: Peter Lehman Shiraz 2008 (Barossa). Initially closed aromatically, then showed minerals, chalk, buttered popcorn, eucalyptus, turpentine, licorice, and good n' plenty. Tasted of dark chocolate, espresso, and under-ripe cranberry. Kristin Amico felt it was a "wine that maybe dated a little port", and Ali described it as "sexual chocolate". Finished with pepper, licorice, vanilla, and hazelnuts. Kristin Crane, Ina, and Ali gave this their top rating. Received 28 points. Ina's bottle. About $16.
Second Place: Archetype Shiraz 2007 (Barossa). Pretty aromatics included tomato sauce, lilacs, overripe fruit, and licorice. Thick, but soft texture. Sweet fruit on the palate, along with pepper, tomato paste, cherries, cola, and sun-dried tomato. Kristin Amico found "hi-C", and felt it was "the grilled cheese of wine". Oily aftertaste, with hints of dirt. The most balanced of the night. Ali thought it was "an intelligent girl". Kristin Amico and David's favorite of the night. Received 24 points. Ali's bottle. About $15.
Third Place: Elderton Shiraz 2003 (Barossa). Tasters found complex aromas of black licorice, rubber tire, berries, worn leather, charcoal, lighter fluid, blackberry jam, campfire, bacon, black olives, and acetone. Full-bodied. Leather on the palate, with black raspberry fruit. Kristin Amico noted that it was "less jammy than it smells". Cough syrup on the finish, and a little too hot, with dried fruit flavors. David thought it fell a little flat on the finish. Andy's favorite. Received 14 points. Kristin Crane's bottle. About $34.
The non-medal finishers:
Thorn Clarke Shiarz Shotfire 2007 (Barossa). Unfiltered, with a brighter smell, showing clove, oregano, mahogany wood, evergreen, "paper bag and soap" (Andy), and "book glue" (Kristin Amico). A little more subtle. Flavors of granny smith apple, fungus, pine sol, bacon, and eucalyptus. Kristin Amico said, "I think there's pork fat in this". Finishes little more tart, with cinnamon, pepper, and mulled spice. Received 13 points. Kristin Amico's bottle. About $22.
Elderton Shiraz 1999 Command (Barossa). Mint, dirty dishwater, old sponge, super-ripe cheese, and sea air scents. Andy found "sawdust and yogurt", while Ali described this as "two is green, and this is brown". Iron, blood, minerals, olives, and salt flavors were odd to most tasters. Andy said it was "like liquid meat", with Ina saying it "kind of making me gag", and Kristin Amico felt it was like "I just broke up with my vampire boyfriend". Received 5 points. David's bottle. About $70.
Torbreck Shiraz Woodcutter's 2008 (Barossa). Tasters immediately had a strong reaction to this one, with Andy saying, "berry nice to smell you", and Ali noting "strawberry hubba bubba". Starburst, cotton candy, and cherry coke flavors. Andy felt it was "false tasting", and David described it as "lab coat wine". Tasted candied, with artificial sweetener on the finish. No points. Andy's bottle. About $22.