Often times i head down to my cellar and look for something that I know I should pull and drink, but at the same time does not have some sort of significance that makes me want to hold off. I cannot fully explain why I have this reluctance to drink certain wines more than to say I get attached to them the same way baseball card collectors can often times not sell certain cards. It is usually the sentimentality of the occasion that frequently stops a bottle being opened, the “I remember buying this from the winery” moment. Quite often I hate to break up verticals as well. Nothing bothers me more than looking at six years of the same vintage sitting side by side and I cannot pull the bottle that needs drinking. These are all faults that keep bottles cellar’d longer than they should be, occasionally causing a wine to be opened flat and uninteresting.
Funny enough, this review is not about any of the above, I think I simply wanted a cathartic moment to chastise my reluctance to drink more great wine…
This Shiraz was purchased at the recommendation of one of my favorite wine dealers in Sydney on one of my many passing’s through the city over the past decade. I grabbed this in 2011 and was told that it could use some more time lying down. Usually I tend to buy two of any wine that comes recommended, but as a Canadian who has limited baggage space and even more limits on my legal limit in importing wine without being forced to pay taxes and duties in excess of 90% on wines, I only grabbed one of these. What a shame, as it was very rewarding to have kept it for nearly 6 full years.
Marschall Groom Cellars is a family owned winery in the famous Barossa Valley, just outside of Adelaide, Australia. Most people know the region for the big bold, high alcohol Shiraz that vary so much from the Syrahs grown in the old world.; this despite years of producing great varietals and blends that do not begin with the letter S. While Barossa has been on the world stage for many decades, the most common comment I get is they like/dislike the region for their Shiraz’s. This wine in its current state would move most from the negative to the positive. It is a balanced and full bodied wine that has definitively been served by the patience in holding as opposed to drinking.
Getting down to the details of the wine are pretty easy. The red colour had hints of the earthy tones that you see with a wine that was made over 11 years ago. Once decanted, the sediment was significant but not a hindrance. The first whiffs show vanilla and cherry on the nose. Digging into the wine brings a wine with a bit of a bite to start and a long, lingering finish. Throughout the bottle this did not change, the balance of the wine holding up to an hour of exposure. The fruit was solid and not muted at all, and with a 14.3% ABV the alcohol was not countering the quality of the overall experience. If you could summarize the encounter with this Shiraz it boil it down to “great”. It was this word that kept coming to mind.
As few things: i) this cannot be found in any stores I’ve seen across Canada ii) this wine for sure could be put in the obscure category. However, online wine merchants can get you basically anything, so if you want it, I am sure you could buy it. Good Luck!
The CWG Subjective Rating is 91 out of 100.