Friday, June 30, 2006

Blue Pyrenees Shiraz 2003

Just finished dinner. We drank the Blue Pyrenees Shiraz 2003 (Avoca VIC). This was one of the wines from the Wine Society I mentioned earlier.

In some ways it was not a fair tasting of the wine. My better-half had prepared tandoori chicken and the smell and tang of the spices overshadowed much of the wine. Over dinner the wine did not have a chance to state its case.

I did however save some until about half an hour (now) after dinner when the smell and taste of the tandoori has subsided. I am glad I did! The wine is much better than I had originally thought.

The wine is a medium red in colour. It is not dark red but certainly not light either. The nose is not big but there was definitely plum and maybe a touch of pepper (spices?) on the nose. The label on bottle talks of licorice but I couldn't find it - but that may just be me or the after-effects of the tandoori.

The palate is commensurate with the nose and there is a touch of oak and, very mild or soft tannins. There is reasonable intensity and length (I actually timed it this time - I can't believe I did that - how anal - oh! around 20 seconds). There is a nice balance to the wine. You couldn't say it had a lot of complexity but what it does have is quite well balanced and structured. It could never be said to be close to being a premium wine but is a pleasant guzzler with no apparent (at least to me) defects.

How this rates on a scale of 20 or 100 - beats the heck out of me - I am still to jump that hurdle and I am sure there are a few of the other wine bloggers that will give me some gratuitous advice on the matter (yep - I have seen the way you have badgered poor Ed).

Would I buy this wine again? Maybe! I may be way off base here, but I seem to recall having a bottle of the 2001 vintage that was a bit better than the 2003 (at least in my mind). I think I will try the 2004 when it comes out just to see.

(Many thanks to Melanie Dickinson from Blue Pyrenees for the photo and the kind permission to use it)


Anonymous Murray said...

Scoring a wine is damn hard, as is writing a good tasting note. That being said the only way to get better is practice.

I am clinging to my rating out of 10 for a bit longer, it serves as a general guide, and places a particular wine somewhat amongst its peers.

1:28 PM  
Blogger Mal said...


I know what you mean about it being hard! Because I am new at it I finding there is a real lack of confidence (or conviction) that what I am describing is accurate. Take the 2004 Tyrrells Heathcote for example. Now I have read your 2003 review I am more than a little nervous that I have totally cocked up the review of the 2004.

Also I owe you an apology! For some reason I thought it was you having a go at Ed to go to a 100 point system. It was actually the work of the dastardly GW and Cam.

3:53 PM  
Anonymous Murray said...

I wouldnt worry about lack of confidence in giving a wine a score, its not like you're being paid to do it at a professional level, its just your own personal view on the day.

For me, where a lot of reviewers are able to list specific flavours they can find in a wine, ill often be a bit more generic, "red fruits" rather than cherry/raspberry/cranberry etc. Perhaps over time ill become more specific.

I am still keen to try the 04 Heathcote, others have given it a positive review as well.

4:36 PM  
Blogger Mal said...

Thanks - that's good advice. I needed to hear it.

5:35 PM  

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