100% Shiraz; McLaren Vale, Australia; 14.5% ABV
$4 at the Berkeley, CA store on 25 May
Was an excess buyer’s sample sold as a one-off.
Oriel touts itself (on the back label) as “a range of artisanal wines, handmade in tiny quantities by the best winemakers worldwide.” I have seen their wines show up as buyer’s samples before, but I had never gotten any before the current batch, which also includes a Côtes du Rhône and a Sonoma County rosé of Pinot Noir. This wine label says it is in their “Limited Series.”
The wine was pretty tasty right away, but did not really start to be aired until about 75 minutes after opening (decanted off some sediment). It kept developing for a while longer before showing dark spiced blackberry, plum, blueberry, and some black earth, with acid of black and dark red raspberries, in a pleasantly textured body. My biases may be outdated (and certainly based on a small sample size), but I think of this wine as in a classic Australian style. It was nicely mature, but didn’t seem ready to go over the hill very soon. If you like this kind of thing, I’d suggest a good GO price of $8 or $9, should it show up in quantity on GO shelves. (Even if it shows up “in quantity,” that amount will likely not be large, as my bottle was labeled #679/9000, John Duval consulting winemaker.)