Home > Tasting Notes and Wine Reviews > Six Aussies Including the Tasty 1998 Maxwell Grenache, 09 August 2008

Six Aussies Including the Tasty 1998 Maxwell Grenache, 09 August 2008


Jenn and I decided to shake things up and try a number of Aussie reds. The 1998 Maxwell Grenache was by far our favorite and a very good value. After that, but a notch down are the St John’s Road and Warrenmang. I wouldn’t recommend the Yalumba, Hazyblur, nor the Rockford.

2005 St. John’s Road, Blood and Courage, Shiraz, Greenock, Barossa – $20
Very opaque purplish color. A light to medium intensity nose of gritty blue-red fruit. Tart blue fruit, slightly salty, in this medium bodied wine. The acidity is strong, causing puckering, that is wrapped up with a good finish and strong aftertaste. Young. A nice wine that doesn’t have the elegant of Solitary Block Shiraz from Greenock.

2003 Yalumba, Handpicked Shiraz Viognier, Barossa Valley – $20
Medium plus opaque purple with a hint of garnet. A light to medium intensity nose of candied red and purple fruits. Tight, dark fruit, toasty oak flavors, some acidity, and fine noticeable tannins. It never developed into much after three days. Our least favorite of the bunch.

2002 Warrenmang, Estate Shiraz, Pyrenees, Victoria – $20
Medium plus opaque ruby-purple, younger looking than the Hazyblur. A medium strength nose of bright, black gritty fruit, with some eucalyptus. In the mouth there was bright, tart fruit. The acidity is up front followed by a decent finish and aftertaste with some fine tannins coming through.

2001 Hazyblur, Barootra Shiraz, South Australia – $16
This came from 8-year-old vines. Medium plus opaque garnet. A nose of tart red fruits and some rubber/tar component that eventually blew off. In the mouth there is savory, dark red berries, enlivened by high-toned acidity. The flavors drop off to reveal minimal tannins, a simple finish and aftertaste. It did not change much on the second day. Second least favorite.

1998 Maxwell, Grenache, McLaren Vale – $25
Medium garnet in the glass. A medium nose of gritty, mildly sweet blue fruits. In the mouth there are cool, blue fruit, minerals, with good supporting acidity. The finish is refreshing. It still has textured tannins. This was by far our favorite and drinking beautifully right now. The nose makes one interested and the flavors do not disappoint, well-balanced.

1996 Rockford, Cabernet Sauvignon, Barossa Valley – $19
This was fermented in open-top slate tanks and aged for two years in American and French oak hogsheads. Medium garnet in the glass with a core of darker purple color. A light to medium nose. There are red and blue fruits at first, a slight amount of minerals then the acidity comes through. There are some cedar/wood flavors in the finish, followed by a tart fruit finish. This isn’t that complex and there are still some new oak tannins. Kind of boring.

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