Penfolds, Max’s Shiraz, South Australia, 2015
This wine: lot No. L8301W2, a multi-regional blend of varietal shiraz, 12 months ageing in American oak, coated natural cork closure, 14.5% abv, Waitrose, £15 (10/17)
Consumer tasting note: deeply hued ruby, with a strong nose of stewed black cherry and black liquorice, spicy with hints of back pepper, vanilla and powdered ginger; full-bodied with smooth ripe tannins and flavours of black cherry and black cherry, black boiled sweets and liquorice, and a touch of vanilla right on the end of the long finish.
Drink now – RTD, but will keep – Wait. Decant for 30 minutes.
A block buster in the international style, I wonder if this would have passed the scrutiny of Max Schubert?
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clean, deep intensity ruby, showing tears [no sediment]
Nose: clean, pronounced intensity, developing, with aromas as they come, of spice, whiff of black pepper, slightly lifted stewed black cherry, toast, black liquorice, hint of beeswax, hint of vanilla, with vigorous swirling a whiff of violets, hint of powdered ginger, hint of creamed almost confected black berry, a hint of developing savouriness.
Palate: dry, medium acidity, ripe medium tannins, high alcohol, full body, medium (+) intensity, a smooth texture with a sense of sweetness in mid palate, with flavours of squashed blackberry, ripe black cherry, black liquorice, black boiled sweets, hint of vanilla, a hint of savouriness, stewed red plum.. A long black cherry and blackberry finish with a touch of vanilla on the end.
Quality: very good, perfectly balanced acidity and ripe tannins with well-integrated high(ish) alcohol, in keeping with the rich flavour profile; quite strong intensity throughout, with slightly lesser concentration; showing moderate-high complexity, with evidence of time in oak (ginger, spice, toast, vanilla) and bottle (beeswax, savoury), leading to a long length.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: can drink now, but has potential for further ageing, over say 2-4 years, by which time the toastiness will have been absorbed, but will keep for longer thereafter – a sound structure and balance, an interesting developing profile, with lots of complexity, a sound long length, and primary fruit to work with.