Saturday, August 26, 2006

August is almost over. Time to celebrate? Thanks Tyrrells!!

I think I have mentioned somewhere, either in a post or a comment, that August is our biggest month of the year at the office. The audits (we don't do a lot of them - but they are painful and draining) are almost complete and the tax and consulting work is rolling in. (I only do audits because I can't stand the excitement of accounting and did not have the personality to become an undertaker.) It is a great month for our business and I love it - however I am still always glad when it is over. This year will be no exception. As usual, at the end of August, I feel I am almost hitting the E on the guage and am in dire need of rejuvenation.

Realising this, the better-half (God love her) arranged for a special dinner last night (Friday). We always try to have a nice dinner on Friday night that we can both look forward to. It certainly helps me to get through the week. We make sure the kids are in bed before we sit down to dinner, drink wine, talk and relax. This tempered somewhat on the weekends when I have to work Saturday but it still doen't stop me from looking forward to Friday nights.

Last night she prepared a mustard and lemon encrusted roast eye fillet with baked veggies. The meat was superb.

What to drink with it?? I had no idea and didn't spend much time considering it but went to Shelf 3 of the Kitchener Wine Cabinet (Shelf 1 and 2 holds the really good stuff - Grange etc) and picked up the first bottle I layed my hands on - a 1997 Tyrrells Vat 9 Shiraz (Hunter Valley).

I had almost forgotten about these. I bought 6 some years ago and still hadn't touched them. I thought it would be a good test to see how they were going, erspecially as the label says the wine will develop further in the bottle until about 2007.

There was a strong eucalyptus (?), mint(?),earthy, spicy nose to the wine. It was a medium red in colour and the palate was tightly structured with firm tannins, balanced acid and a smooth, moderately long finish and exhibited spicy fruit. This wine is drinking beautifully! YUM!!

My overall rating was 90-92/100

Scoring the individual components we (I say 'we' because the better-half assisted with the review) came up with 18.5/20

Only 5 bottles left and - only five days left in August???? Naaah! Don't even think it!


Anonymous GW said...

Yeah. They made a very good Vat 9 in a not so great vintage. I said this about it in a vertical tasting last August.

1997 - Very walnutty, raspberry, vanilla, herb, pepper. Quite volatile. Tannins overwhelm the fruit a little but a really good food style. Subtle. Very successfull. //

Not the best of notes (or fairest) as it was done with 30 wines (3 flights of 10).


11:08 AM  
Blogger Murray Stiles said...

Good to see more reviews of quality hunter valley wines :)

Was wondering if you had some opinions on some of the cheaper Tyrrels reds? The names have slipped my mind right now, but there are a couple around the $20 mark I beleive.

10:02 AM  
Blogger Mal said...


Thanks for the comment - out of interest did you happen to give it a score??

Two other things (1) I am a little jealous of not ever being a tasting of '3 flights of ten', and (2) I am a little envious as to how you can analyse 30 wines in a reasonably short period of time - that would take me best part of a day.

I have now got envy and jealousy covered - 5 more of the 7 deadly sins and I am on my way!

1:37 PM  
Blogger Mal said...


You are welcome!

Can only assume you are pulling my chain on the last comment. Therefore I could give you an opinion on one or two but I don't think you would like them - especially if you keep buying the wrong vintage.

Either that or, I could tell you but I would have to kill you!

Seriously, I would be interested to know, if you ever try the other one, what you thought of it. Thanks!!

1:40 PM  
Anonymous Murray said...


I should have been more descriptive, I was referring to their other Hunter Reds, specifically the Brokenback Shiraz... there may be another as well?

1:46 PM  
Anonymous GW said...

The Tyrrells 'cheaper' Hunter Shiraz are Brokenback and Stevens. I love them both. Prolly a few reviews on Winorama..which reminds me..I must try the 2003 Steven if out. I'll be popping up the Hunter this weekend I think..have a look at my wine (2006 Shiraz with a dash of Pinot)..

Mal - I have had it other times too and I think around 90-91 from memory..something like that.
3 flights of 10 were 10 years of Vat 1, Vat 47 and Vat 9. Good session.
I do it by going through and smelling each of the 10 wines and getting a first impression. Write that down. Things normally stick out that way. Then I run through and taste them in order. Let them sit a while so the aroma comes up in the glass again (it sort of concentrates if you leave it a while) sniff again etc. Gets easier the more you do it although it is always harder on the wines than just drinking a nice bottle with dinner (the wine wine is SUPPOSED to be drunk). Not that I am an expert.


3:02 PM  
Blogger Mal said...


Sorry about jumping to conclusions! I thought you were having a go at me over the notes on the Rufus Stone Heathcote (you know I still feel bad about that).

I haven't had a Brokenback or a Stevens Shiraz for quite some time. If I recall the Stevens Shiraz at my first ever wine tasting dinner with Bruce Tyrrell. We had the 1995 Stevens Shiraz and a 1995 Stevens Semillon. I bought a few of each following that night. I think I may still have one 1995 Semillon left. We also tried one of the Brokenbacks - can't call which vintage.

All I recall of the 1995 Stevens Shiraz was the smell of chocolate - and only that because it was the first time I had ever identified a particular 'nose'. It is amazing the things that stick in your mind.

I will have to look more into the Hunter Valley reds - talking about them has aroused my curiosity.

5:54 PM  
Blogger Mal said...


That sounds like a good way to do it.

The characteristics of each would stand out as compared to the next.

Thanks!! The reason I asked is that I went to the Wine Emporium on Saturday (forgot to pass on your kick in the nuts to Stewart) and they had a Rhone tasting (Grenache based wines - is that Southern Rhone?). I wasn't expecting it but I thought I would have a quick look - did not have a plan - there were about 10-12 wines (including Ch Neuf du Pape Clos du Pape - serious YUM).

I had no plan of attack and I was 3 - 4 wines into it and realised I couldn't do them justice nor did I have the time to start again - so I just sipped a few and enjoyed - no scoring.

6:01 PM  
Anonymous The Wine Commonsewer said...

I can't stand the excitement of accounting and did not have the personality to become an undertaker

Thanks, Mal. I just snorted wine all over the monitor.


2:14 PM  
Blogger Mal said...

Doesn't wine burn your nose when you snort it??

I am glad my misfortune (of having to conduct some audits) is amusing to someone!

6:23 PM  
Anonymous Murray said...

Tried the Brokenback 2003 last night, very dark in fruit character, maybe a bit of tar/burnt earth there too.

I must admit I wasnt a huge fan, it was good but I would drink the mount pleasant philip over it...

Come into the light Mal, drink more Hunter Wine!

3:23 PM  
Blogger Mal said...


You are right! I should! I loved the Hunter when I visited a few years ago and have been to two dinners with Bruce Tyrrell and really love some of their wines. I still have a few Vat 47s left - but I usually don't like to talk abou the whites.

5:37 PM  
Anonymous Cam Wheeler said...

Why don't you like to talk about the whites Mal? They are just as interesting as the reds in my opinion.

1:42 PM  
Blogger Mal said...


No particular reason, really - just a personal preference for reds. I have found myself, from the very beginning, gravitating to the reds.

I do have a few whites in my collection, but not many. I also think I am on safer ground talking about reds, as I am more familiar with them.

I really do like a good Riesling and a good Semillon, and I can even enjoy a very good Chardonnay and (every now and again) a Sauvignon Blanc BUT I wouldn't go past a good Cab Sav, Shiraz or Pinot to get to any them. I usually end up in a store and see a couple of whites I wouldn't mind trying but I always seem to give in to the urge to tackle the many reds I want to try.

6:44 PM  
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