Tyrrell’s ribbon ’round the old oak tree

[vineyard]Tyrrell’s 1999 Shiraz “Reserve” (McLaren Vale) – Massively acidic. This is exacerbated by the relative daintiness of the fruit, which is tart, red-berried, and overtly crisp; much Beaujolais is actually fuller-bodied than this wine, though it somewhat makes up for its occasional foray into mincing with a sharp blast of intensity. There’s a cloud of pepper dust that lends it varietal character, but otherwise it’s hard to see this as a shiraz, nor has time led to the development of what I’d call tertiary character. Is it good? It’s…particular. It’s fun with food. It’s an enjoyable quaff. And maybe that’s enough. It’s best use might be to blind-taste your Australian wine-hating friends; they’ll never, ever guess. (4/09)

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