Good evening everybody, hope you’re all doing well! Today my parents came home from their holiday so Nat and I invited the in-laws and them over for a nice dinner. Naturally, wine was to be had. I know they like their oaky new world styles so I pulled out this guy.

Saltram No 1 Barossa Shiraz 2005

Wow would ya look at all them shiny gold medals. These guys are good in providing information so you can find most of what you want here. Lowdown is that these guys are from Barossa and No. 1 is their first label started in 1859. The grapes are 90% Barossa, 10% Eden Valley and 14.5% so expect big flavours.

I bought this guy a while back before I got into this wine craze. Back in the day I bought a 2000 vintage of this for a friend’s birthday present. We drank it together 10 years later and from memory it was lovely.  Quick vintage check shows the 05 to be a very very good year and much better than the 00, though it may be still a bit young and tannic. My personal scribbles says that I should keep this till around 2015. Couldn’t wait that long so I made sure to decant this for a bit. I put it in a wide based decanter for about 1.5-2 hours and it sat in the glass for about 30 mins before anyone had a go at it so it felt ok.

The smell on this guy when I poured in into the decanter filled the room of Ribena, it was so fruity. Ok, lets dive in.

The nose had big “in your face” black berries. Some bitter dark chocolate notes followed by some sweet american oak and a tinny touch of barnyard smells and cashew nuts.

Attack is all vanilla and berries and red plums, basically typical barossan big fruit punch with a lean clean mouthfeel. Fruit gets overtaken by some bitter tannins in the mid palate which transitions in to a sharp acidity. They then mix together and you get a ginseng kind of flavour and effect with splash of bitterness from the tannins and a grippy mouthfeel. The finish is long but has some alcohol heat and it leaves you with a tingling on your tongue.

I was left a bit unimpressed, doesn’t seem young but perhaps hasn’t settled down or something. The balance is not there, very one dimensional flavours and straightforward (perhaps a bit boring?). There are accented fruit flavours but then there has to be an equal accented acidity and tannins which I don’t get. The bitterness is very noticeable and unpleasant. Not what I expected for $50. I wasn’t the only one who was disappointed. The table found similar faults in the wine, some liking the finish, some liking the start but mostly commented on its bitterness.

I left it in the glass for about another hour. The acidity and tannins blended together a better and it develops some vanilla spices but there is still a bit of heat at the finish. Still not great. In addition to all this, I tasted it out of 2 different glasses: Riedel Shiraz and Riedel “all-purpose” kind of glass. It’s startling how different drinking a Shiraz from a Riedel Shiraz glass is. I was kinda floored on how much more open the nose is and how the flavours were more pronounced. If you get a chance, try Riedel vs another glass, its crazy man.

So, final thoughts on the wine? If you do a quick google search, you will get rave reviews on this wine with very high scores. The tasting notes were similar in flavours but not in the level of complexity especially when you take into account when they tasted it vs now. Perhaps it needed longer in the decanter, or perhaps it was my particular bottle which was defunked (side note, it was screw top! no cork for my cork collection!). I don’t know. What I can say is, be sure to not just trust rating points or other people’s reviews, use them as guides. i’m pretty sure that when I bought this, I read somewhere that it was the nuts so I bought it at a relatively cheap price for its scores. Nope. Trust yourself and try it yourself.

Happy drinking

Kenny

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