Friday, February 6, 2009

Wirra Wirra 2006 Woodhenge Shiraz (Australia)

Those who drink Yellow Tail, Little Penguin and many other "critter" wines know about the smoothness of blackberry in their Shiraz and that's about all - they believe that this is the one-trick pony style of this grape. Those in the know, and who drink "serious" Shiraz, know Shiraz to be a tri-trick pony: pepper-spice-blackberry ... that's basic Shiraz 101. A well made Shiraz has these three components (minimum), while a lackluster one is uni-dimensional. So with all this dizzying talk about uni-tricks and tri-dimensions you're probably wondering where I am going with it; glad you asked. This Wirra Wirra Woodhenge is the best of both worlds, with a little something extra thrown in: depth. We start with a heavily spiced nose (and palate): it's like sticking you nose into a pepper mill, picking up a kernel and taking a bite - yoozah! Let it sit, or decant, for at least an hour and things settle down a bit. The blackberries emerge in full force, the pepper turns soft and white, and the spicyness settles into subtle nuances. On the palate those three fight each other for dominance of your mouth, before closing out with a smooth finish. Plenty of time for those who want to lie one down - but for those more adventurous, you can take the pepper-plunge now.

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