Monday, September 14, 2009

Raven Park Grampians Shiraz 2006

It was a pretty large weekend let me tell you, which pretty much revolved around High Street Northcote watching the Adelaide Crows capitulate against the ‘every-other-Tuesday’ Magpies from the Carringbush. Yes it was mighty large with my old mate Snowy on Saturday night, but much larger when I woke up yesterday morning with my head still thumping like Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Tusk’.

All this thumping in my head reminded me of the last time I woke up with this ailment, yet it was not due to copious amounts of Cascade Pale Ale, but by one bottle of wine shared with Erin - the Raven Park Grampians Shiraz 2006.

Now I know that ‘if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all’, but in all due respect, the Raven Park Shiraz is not flash. From the very first whiff of this wine I knew that there had been quite a lot of tinkering to it with vanilla, coconut, charcoal, preserved meat and stewed fruit coming through.

The 2006 vintage in the Grampians was a hot one, which pretty much was the theme for much of Victoria. I have done a bit of research on the 2006 vintage and have not been able to come across any records of smoke taint to fruit, yet in mid February, fires spread from Halls Gap in western Victoria to Anaki just west of Geelong. I am not sure if Raven Park usually use American oak with their Shiraz, but what I do know is that American oak can be used to mask smoke taint.
The organic compound Vanillin is found in American oak and is sometimes used as a flavouring agent in foods, beverages and pharmaceuticals. I am not saying this was the culprit to my headache, just stating a fact. What probably caused my headache were the additions of acids, SO2, and other preservatives to get this wine up to scratch. The palate was very similar to the nose with more vanilla and a real smack of sweet coconut.

Volatile chemicals cause thumping in the head, no doubt about it, and when they come in a 750mL bottle of wine, well like I said, ‘if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all’.

Little balance, complexity and length with too much weight from the oak, charcoal and vanilla.

Drink with BBQ sausages
Drink now
Screwcap $10 13.5% a/v

1 comment:

  1. Yeeouch! But I must say that's a brilliant, detailed and very clinical explanation for why you didn't like that Raven Park Shiraz.

    No one likes wine which causes thumping headaches. Your words have been well absorbed...