Tasting: Wirra Wirra ‘Scrubby Rise’ Shiraz Cabernet Petit Verdot 2012
I got a hold of this wine through reading so many fantastic things about Wirra Wirra wines. Although the RSW Shiraz was the first on my radar, I have since delved into the other wines made at Wirra Wirra, and have just now discovered this little gem. Predominantly Shiraz but with a large share of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is also made with fruit from a blend of vineyards. I admire winemakers continuing to blend despite an increasing number of single vineyard wines gaining prominence. I thought this wine was terrific.
My tasting was done in two stages: directly upon opening, and after an hour in the glass. The colour was a squid-inky, dense purple, very dense in the middle and an attractive purple on the rim. A rather sticky glass rim when turned in the light – mouthwateringly so! Here I should insert my usual disclaimer that I admire medium-to-full, and full-bodied reds very much, but not to a point of bias! In the light, the rim went a reddish-purple. Still attractive. Upon opening the nose showed blueberries, ripe fruit, dry earth (a fair amount of dryness to be honest), some cedary eucalyptus in there, some mint (maybe me mistaking this for eucalyptus) red fruits like raspberries, and a little oak. My wife and I tried to nail down some mysterious flavour which we both agreed to be apple skins, maybe granny smith.
The pop-and-pour taste showed very balanced, generous fruit, more pepper than the nose, some soft dried spice and herbs, and silky, semi-sweet tannins. The acid balance was very enticing and with low tannin astringency. I was very impressed but wanted to let the wine sit.
Tick-tock, tick-tock, killed time for an hour.
After an hour the wine had warmed around two degrees (I have an electronic thermometer I use for this purpose – yes, strange). The nose and palate gained balance with time in the glass, as you would expect of a good quality Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon blend. The nose became warmer, with some dark plums and dark cherry, and dare I say, some stickiness, although that could be due to the aged port I’ve been drinking lately. Dried fruits and dried herbs on the nose after time in the glass also. Tasting after an hour in glass, tannins were silky, smooth and rich, with fruit more evenly distributed across the palate and slathering the back palate. I think the Petit Verdot has really complemented this richness and fruity abundance. Less astringency and no stickiness on later tasting. Good medium body. I tend to perform a ritual whereby I smell the empty glass after finishing, and picked up nice stickiness and French oak.
Overall, this is a highly satisfying wine for the price ($17 from BWS in Hobart). I drank it with a meal of slow-cooked beef and vegetables, and it went very well indeed. This wine is prime drinking now.
89 points from James Halliday, 91 points from Nick’s. I would not disagree with that score range, but I do think the value is quite notable for the price.
Good drinking to you,
54% Shiraz, 37% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot
Closure: Screw Cap