The 2009 Milton Park Shiraz is a label owned by Thorn-Clarke Wines and is sourced from vineyards in the Barossa region of South Australia, which includes both the Barossa Valley and the Eden Valley. The name Milton Park comes from their vineyard in Eden Valley, they also own vineyards in the Barossa Valley, the grapes for this Shiraz come from Thorn-Clarke family owned Estate vineyards and contracted vineyards. The wine was aged in American oak barrels for 12 months and the alcohol content is an extremely sensible for a Barossa Shiraz, 13.5%, This is a Shiraz that lists for $12.99, but since the new vintage is coming out, the leftovers from 2009 were in a “end of bin” sale for $5.99. Watch you vintage dates this time of year, some stores try to sneak older vintages onto the shelves while the reputable stores will offer discounts on older vintages. There was a time when the older the vintage the better, but with “drink it now” wines sometimes older is too old.
The color is a dark, brooding burgundy red. The nose is raspberry jam, menthol, sweet oak spice, cherry fruit roll-ups and fudge. This is a full bodied Shiraz, but not overblown, bright, rich flavors, with a nice touch of balance. It tastes of ripe blueberry, Snickers chocolate, cranberry, orange zest and cherry. The mid palate adds soft Altoids spice, raisin spice and creamy vanilla. The tannins are sweet and do not intrude and the acidity is balanced. The finish is full and long.
The 2009 Milton Park Shiraz has a lot of life left in it, I would think you could cellar it for 3 or 4 more years, but who cellars wine in this day and age? This is a first rate, inexpensive Shiraz, all the flavor and balance you could ask for with a solid touch of spice and complexity. Red wine drinkers switched from Shiraz/Syrah to Malbec in droves in recent years and while value Malbec is uniformly top notch, you don’t get the mad, in your face edge that Australian Shiraz provides. No complaint against Malbec, it is just that there is room for both wines, they each provide a different pleasure. I might not be bringing sexy back, but this year I am bringing Shiraz back to my wine rotation.
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Odds and ends: Coming through highly regarded wine importer Kysela Pere & Fils, this Australian shiraz is from the well-known producers Thorne-Clark. The wine is blended from a variety of vineyard sources, all located in Southeastern Australia. It is also a great representative of the value that can be found in the popular under $10 category. This wine was aged for 12 months in American oak barrels. The vintage comes from a very warm year with the harvest being completed in a very short period, which may explain the lack of overly roasted flavor characteristics. Drink it with a flatiron steak accompanied by roasted potatoes. It should be good through 2013.