02 Dec 2011

Oliverhill Jimmy Section Shiraz 1999

Oliverhill Jimmy Section Shiraz 1999

What is the wine you keep looking at in your cellar but don't pull the cork? For me it was the Oliverhill Jimmy Section Shiraz 1999...

I remember the buzz in those days. Crikey, it has been that long? Australian wine was hot, the phones rang like crazy. I had a small budget for building a stash of wines to age. I was smart enough to end up with one bottle of Oliverhill Jimmy Section Shiraz 1999 in my stash. It was expensive in those days, even at staff prices. The Jimmy Section was a big deal. It always got huge Parker scores and we had no problem selling it. Everyone knew that it was an excellent wine, but it was viewed by some as monolithic and lacking real substance, given its heavier McLaren Vale style. That was the epitome of Aussie wines, the reason so many people loved Aussie wines, and the reason why some chose to ignore them.
I always knew that 1999 was a cooler vintage and have on occasion eyed that lonely bottle of the Jimmy sitting in my stash. Should I open it now? Do I have the right food or right occasion? Well tonight I just had to put an end to all the voices in my head, so I pulled the cork and sneakily served up a glass to my sediment hating spouse, who tilted her head and smiled…
Folks, I timed this one very well. Remember that in Australia 1999 was a cool growing season. That means wines with longevity and structure. I am rather stoked right now!!! Definite balance, and excellent structure, nice fruit, definite signs of age (the bricking around the robe; the sediment stained bottle). Really this is what I hope for when I age wines. Everyone knows that Aussie wines are big clumsy monsters that don’t age well. To use a boxing analogy, this wine is Mohammad Ali, NOT Mike Tyson. Yes, this was what I needed, just as a reminder that Australia makes some world class wines that can age. Length, not a flutter of heat, some meaty character, nice core of delicate fruit.  I am drinking it right now and it is quite a lot of fun, perfect for a Friday night at home!
More recently Oliverhill changed their business plan with the unveiling of the Oliverhill Red Silk Shiraz 2008 which has made a lot of friends at about half the price the Jimmy Section used to sell for. I am glad that the fine wines from South Australia have started to reemerge and prove the critics wrong. Barossa and McLaren Vale can make fine age worthy wines. After pawing through my stash like a hungry animal, I happily discovered a bottled of the 2002 Jimmy Section, another cooler vintage. Life is good…

Posted by Oliver 00:00:00

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