December Wines of the Month: a Douro white & Hunter Valley Shiraz
I had not a jot of hesitation selecting my December Wines of the Month. Superlative wines! Here they are:
Wine & Soul Guru 2013 (Douro)
Woweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, this is an energetic wine. On day three it was still looking fabulous – taut, flinty/cordite-ful and salty with lime peel, pith and oil and smoked hazelnut, the latter emerging on day 2. Winemaking couple Sandra Tavares da Silva & Jorge Serodio Borges told me they’ve significantly reduced the new oak, just 50% this year and it gives this racy, mineral wine – always a favourite – even more verve and finesse, not to mention truly exceptional purity, line and length. I reckon it’s the best yet. If you’re a fan of top Aussie Chardonnays Oakridge 864 or Penfolds Reserve Bin A bag yourself a bottle of this! 12.5% abv
Mount Pleasant Maurice O’Shea Shiraz 2011 (Hunter Valley)
As for Maurice O’Shea Shiraz, its staying power is legendary. This, the latest vintage, has cinnamon-edged blackberry fruit to nose and palate with a hint of coal dust. In the mouth the tannins are super fine, very refined, which utterly mirrors the delicacy of its intense but in no way dense, very pure, spicy, black and red berry fruit. Juicier, jewel-bright and firm pomegranate emphasises line and lift. A fruit and (sooty) minerals saturated finish with lacy acidity lingers long. This is a delightfully fresh, finely honed medium-bodied Shiraz. Outstanding precision and finesse. It was gently pressed to French oak barrels (30% new, 300-500l) for 18 months maturation. 14.5%
Incidentally one of my June Wines of the Month has at last hit the shelves. The UK’s entire retail quota – 60 bottles – of Filipa Pato Post Quercus Baga 2013 is exclusively available now at Bottle Apostle. Be quick!