16 Feb 2018
A taste of liquid history from the oldest Shiraz vines in the world
What does liquid history taste like? Imagine drinking a bottle of champagne recovered from the wreck of the titanic, or a long forgotten Bordeaux perfectly stored for decades in a collector’s cellar.
The Shiraz vines that produced the fruit for this wine were planted in 1860, let’s just think about that for a minute. Billy the Kid was one year old, Abraham Lincoln was the Presidential candidate and Queen Victoria was on the throne in Britain. Those very same vines are still alive today and producing a magnificently balanced wine. Some of the vines have died, leaving empty spaces in the rows, plants don’t live forever after all.
For most people’s perception of what an Aussie Shiraz is supposed to taste like, this amazing and elegant wine would not even be on their radar screen. The Tahbilk 1860 Vines Shiraz 2009 is about the opposite of what most Aussie wine lovers have ever tried or even been exposed to. Sourced from a small plot of Shiraz vines that can trace their origins back to 1860, these are reported to be among the oldest Shiraz vines in the world. Are they the oldest? Maybe, but the point is clear that they are very historical and so is the wine.
The nose is very much Old World in its slant, no doubt the extra bottle age has helped bring about some alluring tertiary aromatic features. Lifted spice and earth come to the fore with leather, shades of cedar and tobacco all chiming in, with very vibrant red fruit at it aromatic core. This is all about refinement and balance on its medium bodied frame, smooth in texture, with ultra-fine tannins working in harmony with the red fruit flavors, suggesting that this has a good number of years in front of it. Perfectly balanced between fruit, tannin and acidity this has length galore and even without heft this has concentration and fruit to carry the day. Having worked this for several days we can only say this is pure class, and as James Halliday noted with his Halliday 98 Point score, the wine is liquid history.
Posted by Oliver 00:00:00