Tuesday, 22 November 2011

A Doubleheader, Cruickshank Cabernet Rosé 2011 & Shiraz 2007

I felt it only appropriate to complete the cycle of Cruickshank wines I have to hand in the current release.  We have already looked at the Cabernet and Chardonnay/Verdelho blend, but Cruickshank are well regarded for their rosé and indeed the Shiraz may be the best of their wines.

Rosé can often be a non event rather than the most beautiful of understatements.  They should not be in your face with acid, or overladen and sweet, but it's always such a plus when these wines whilst retaining delicacy and finesse, have depth and some complexity lurking. Here is one of those wines, there's something for all comers, meaning you could serve this to wine lover or casual friday night drinker alike and both would probably enjoy, if not demand another glass!

A beautiful pale red colour fading to rust at the edges. Smells of confectionary, strawberry and grassiness combined with lovely musk and perfume notes. Unlike some the wine has a nice fullness of body in the mouth, flavours of sweet fruit played off with sour cherry. My very minor quibble is that it could be a little tighter in the mid palate, but hey, very small complaint! Acidity and dryness really carries it through well anyway. Better wines of this style often improve with a bit of bottle time, obviously not really to age, but they settle down and integrate, so 6 months to a year and this might be even better. 89.

(As a postscript, I was tempted to up the score as time passed, pleasure impairing judgement in a good way I think. Also that the wine was indeed lovely the day after opening and probably more seamless.)

So to the Shiraz. I confess I was aware before tasting that this had received some pretty good reviews, but usually if anything I think this make me more sceptical. (Just to give you some background to tasting this, and how I see things generally I suppose). Getting to the point, this is a pretty good little wine.  It has style alongside varietal and regional character with full flavour and balance. It was even better a day after opening. I hope your getting the impression I really enjoyed it...

Bright fruit heads the lovely rich nose alongside oak and spice. When just opened, this shaded earth, straw and sweat notes which were peeking though, but came up more as the bottle was open. I still think the oak is too pressing, though not to the same extent as in the cabernet. Flavours of generous shiraz fruit and beautiful leather and earth, sweet but still savoury. Oak and white pepper also figure, whilst healthy tannins shape it nicely and the flavours persist nicely for a finish of some length. As mentioned it really came into it's own on the 2nd day, so decanting may be helpful, as would stashing a bit away, if only for a year or two (that's also known as a clever move!).   92+.

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