27 January 2011

Coldstream Hills 2006 Reserve Shiraz

This summer the world has been turned fully upside down.

Despite the baggy green disguise, our cricketers have been wielding their willow in a manner embarrassingly more reminiscent of Tufnell than Trumper.

At the same time, the English have somehow extended their stiff upper-lips so far south that for the first time in living memory they have something resembling a backbone, as well as a determination that is seemingly as unbending as Shane Warne's todger.

On top of that, the Aussie dollar is now more sound than the pound, the average house will cost you more in Sydney than it will in London, and the recent weather has meant that there are more carrot-faced fake tanners on Brisbane streets than in an Essex beauty salon.

Brisbane has seen more water than Noah could poke an ark at, and our once famously hot summer has been more miserable than an Englishman nursing a cold beer.

The upshot of all this is that because it’s been cold and wet when it should be hot and sticky, I’ve found myself unable to enjoy the usual array of chilly white wines hibernating in my fridge, and have had to instead warm my cockles with some fortifying reds.

My favourite drop during the past few weeks has undoubtedly been the Coldstream Hills 2006 Reserve Shiraz.

This little gem hails from the Yarra Valley winery founded by that doyen of wine-writers, Mr James Halliday. To avoid criticism, he quite properly declines to score his own wines. So, for what it’s worth, I’ll have a go for you instead.

It pours out into the glass with a remarkably bright purple splash, and smells sweetly of spiced fruit, cinnamon, and a savoury, earthy goodness. Inhale. Exhale. Repeat. Smile.

The drinking is all class. As you might expect of a cool climate shiraz, the drinking is elegant and layered, and absolutely silky smooth. No hint of punchiness at all. It’s medium-bodied and just chock full of finesse. There’s plums, cherries, and a pinch of pepper to spice things up and fondle a few of your erogenous zones as it slips past your lips.

I have no hesitation in saying that it’s drinking stunningly well now, but equally have no doubt that my second bottle will hold up nicely in the cellar for a few more years. And at $40, you’d rightly expect it to.

I drank this with friends after a hard day spent sweeping mud and placing people’s lifelong possessions into heartbreaking piles by the side of the road. As we drank, we commiserated with all these poor people unmercifully wiped out by the floods. And then thanked our lucky stars that we live on a hill.


Rating: 9.25/10 (or say, 95 on the Halliday scale)
Drink with: Liz Hurley
Price: $40

1 comment:

  1. I have a 2002 lurking in the cellar that I should really think about opening.

    It will be significantly better than this Chilean Gewurztraminer I am drinking in Gothenberg airport.