Last night we wanted "something zinny" to go with a been-shopping-all-day, al fresco dinner of fresh radishes with smoked salish salt, roast Costco chicken, hot corn tortillas and a spicy homemade pico de gallo. So we did what we always do when we want something zinny--reach for a syrah.
1998 Knight Granite Hills Shiraz
Macedon Ranges, Victoria, Australia
Only an hour or so north of Melbourne, high up in the hills is a craggy, irregular landscape landscape so Jurassic that you halfway expect a velociraptor to bound out from behind one of the house-sized boulders that God seems to have tossed out there like so many dice. The wines were as different as the topography, and the Knight was our favorite stop. Less sweet and more minerally than what most people think of as "Aussie Shiraz", the Knight is very spicy and extremely well balanced between fruit and oak. It's aging splendidly--still youthful but acquiring some secondary nuances, and it should have a long future. I'll hold my remaining bottles.
Then we got to talking with our wonderful neighbors and people started lighting off fireworks around the Bay and so it was that we stayed out till midnight, chatting around the firepit and staring up into the heavens, something you can do on a warm summer night when you live beyond light pollution.
We needed more wine, of course.
1998 Hidden Valley Pinotage
Here's the wine that might just make a believer out of Bill Spohn. It's at about the same stage of life that the Knight above is--still youthful but packing on secondary nuances, gracefully slouching into middle age. Full-bodied, rich and elegant, with blackberry, sage and roasted meat flavors. Acidity's still good, tannins are sweet...everything's coming along just fine.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov