Browse Tag


For he’s a jolly verdelho

Tyrrell’s 2010 Verdelho (Hunter Valley) – Juicy, green, balanced, fun. I don’t think it’s meant to be any more formal than that, so it doesn’t really need more verbiage. (9/11)


Tyrell’s 1999 Semillon “Vat 1” (Hunter Valley) – Sneaks up, taps you on the shoulder, waits for you to pay attention, then slips away, laughing at your sudden realization that you haven’t been paying enough mind, and now you’ve missed something important. It plays this teasing and eluding game over and over, never surrendering and just showing what it has. It’s not entirely divorced from the flavor profile of a delicate old white Burgundy, though with a little more grass and lemon, and quite satin-textured. The finest white pepper dust, maybe, later in the play. Those who think they can understand a wine’s adulthood and retirement from its birthing pains are, or at least should be, routinely mocked into abashed humility by the journey that this and other Hunter Valley semillons take. (11/10)

The cat in the vat

Tyrell’s 1992 Semillon “Vat 1” (Hunter Valley) – Lemon, apple, creamy tangerine. There’s a sweetish aspect, and some crystallization on the finish. Beeswax, as well? A little goofy, but decent enough. Perhaps it’s just not old enough? Too old? I can never tell with these wines (3/05)

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)