Saturday, January 3, 2009

Igor Larionov Selection 2003 Slap Shot Shiraz (Australia)

January 2, 2009 - A few months ago I found myself at the King Eddy hotel in Toronto for the launch of hockey legend Igor Larionov’s first Icewine and a tasting of some of his other wines. Today, I found myself at Champane’s talking with Dave and this Igor wine caught my eye, there was also the 2005 Hattrick on the shelf (for $44.95), but this one distinctly caught my eye for two reasons: the year and the price. This Australian Shiraz that bears Igor’s name was being cleared for $5.99 a bottle (a far cry from the $30-40 starting price for these wines). “I found them in a warehouse and bought them all,” Dave informed me, “in my opinion it was Igor’s best vintage to date.” Upon further investigation (reading the small print on the label) I learned that this wine was fashioned by Kilikanoon, a well-known and quality Australian producer. Intrigued by the wine I bought a few bottles and opened one immediately upon my arrival at my Michigan home base. The first thing I noticed was the sediment in the neck and on the inside of the screwcap; this wine must have been made unfiltered because of the amount of both. I also observed that the wine was incredibly cloudy in the glass. Smells were spicy and blackberry with flavours of pepper and black raspberry. Dave had given me the suggestion of opening it and letting it sit for a day to get the optimum flavours and aromas out of it - I guess we’ll just have to try that, see what happens tomorrow and if the cloudiness dissipates.

January 3, 2008 - Wine has substantially cleared, the nose is still peppery, blackberries and cassis; the palate is quite spicy and black peppery, raspberries and blackberries make up the flavour profile and there’s still a little tannin holding it all together. There’s also a big 15% alcohol pulse to this wine, which packs a real wallop. When first released, this wine would have been quite expensive, at 5.99 it’s quite a steal; this would be good for a $10-15 bottle, and can sit for another 3-5 years with ease; I have to admit I was quite impressed … quite.

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