26 August 2010

Tahbilk Shiraz - 1998 and 1971

I had a fantastic birthday this week. Thanks for asking.

It was a crazy weekend. Bob Katter and his enormous hat are now in charge of the asylum. The Cottagers held ManU to a draw. And a good friend of mine put on a ten bottle vertical flight of Tahbilk Shiraz stretching back almost 40 years.

The good people at Chateau Tahbilk racked up their 150th birthday this year, so there were quite a few vintages to choose from.

Most of them stood up to the test of time brilliantly - particularly the 1998, and especially the 1971. Keeping in mind that the current vintage is less than $20 - and that you could have originally picked up the '98 for a tenner, and the '71 for loose change - all I can say is that it provides impressive staying power for the money.

They were so impressive in fact that I’m almost lost for words. Well, that and the fact that my recall is a little hazy...what with the 10 bottles and all.

So, I’m just going to have to stick to the two standouts - ‘98 and ‘71.

What I do remember about both of these little gems is that they were very big, very juicy, and wonderfully smooth.

The colour of the ‘71 was fading, but the flavour most definitely wasn’t. At 40 years old, it was still in the rudest of health. And at that price, I was absolutely blown away. I’m not ashamed to say I went back for seconds and thirds on this one. The boys had to wrestle the bottle off me – even long after it had been emptied.

The ‘98 was much deeper and darker, as you might expect. The nose was a sweet embrace, and it quite simply luxuriated on the tip of the tongue. Even the beer drinkers at the table enjoyed this one. It could have cost $100 and no-one would have complained. It’s a wine that may well live forever.

Most of the time you get what you pay for. Occasionally, you get so much more.

My advice is to buy a case of the '06 today and hide it somewhere dark for the next 20 to 30 years. You’re unlikely to be disappointed.

Rating: 9.25/10 (both)
Drink with: Cowboy Katter
Price: $4 ('71); $10 ('98); $18 ('06)

1 comment:

  1. The 1971 was close to a vintage port in style. Very high alcohol and a fascinating curio.