2016 Angove Warboys Shiraz McLaren Vale (1)
92 points, AppellationsTen, Michael Rockich
I have never had a bad bottle of Aussie Shiraz. In fact, every single one that I remember has been quite good! The Australians seem to coax out a special character from their dark Shiraz. We are going to have a look at Angove’s 2016 Warboys Shiraz. I have already posted reviews on two Angove wines, the 2016 GSM and Grenache-Shiraz. I was sufficiently impressed by the results this winery delivers that I knew I must review their Warboys Vineyard Shiraz!
There are those who give the Shiraz grape the top spot among all grape varieties, including the “noble” grapes. Although Shiraz was sown initially in Australia’s Hunter Valley in the 1830s, and in Barossa in the 1840s, it didn’t become the Aussie’s mainstay grape until the 1970s. Curiously, in the mid-1980s the Australian Government incentivized the pulling up of Shiraz vines and many were lost. Thankfully, some of the higher profile players stuck with their vines and were rewarded, just as we are now rewarded with their wine. Today, Shiraz grape vines made up about a quarter of all Aussie plantings, no small portion!
Angove Family Winemakers, founded over a century ago (1886), takes great pride in being a family-owned and operated winery stating “We’ve always been, and always will be”. Angove is located in the well-regarded winegrowing region of McLaren Vale in South Australia, about 30 km south of the city of Adelaid and 12 km from St. Vincent Gulf in the Tasmainian Sea.
Angove brings four brands to market: The Medhyk, Warboys, Family Crest, and Nine Vines. Among these are the GSM and Shiraz Grenache I have recently reviewed, today’s Shiraz, and also a Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Moscat, and a Rosé of Grenache Shiraz.
What I tasted in this wine and other Angove wines, the pristine character, notable purity of the concentrated fruit, excellent delineation, and a delicious flavor profile all clearly result at least partially from their organic and biodynamic certification and farming, in combination with discerning pruning.
The grapes for this 720-case effort sourced from Angov’s Warboys Estate vineyard which is thought to be one of the oldest in McLaren Vale, dating from the 1930’s. Its soils, composed of river wash, dark loam, and alluvial clays below, along with scattered spots of limestone, provide outstanding drainage and the necessary base for the vine’s roots to anchor into.
To get to the bottle, first grape bunches were chilled prior to hand sorting. With a quarter of the fermentation being comprised of whole bunches., a 72-hour cold soak at 10°C was employed before warming to 20°C. Indigenous yeasts initiated the fermentation, and half way through foot-trodding was used to catch any uncrushed berries. Fermentation concluded with nearly three days of extended maceration under a blanket of CO2 thus deterring oxidation and generating 14.5% alcohol with pH at 3.45 and total acidity of 6.2 g/L. Yield from the wooden basket press was combined with the free run, then racked to large new-through-3rd-fill French oak puncheons for 10 months of élevage. The assemblage was made the next February and bottled with no fining or filtration.
This highly inviting Shiraz presents beautifully in deep saturated ruby with numerous legs descending the length of the glass. An extraordinarily juicy Shiraz, delivering up ripe black plum, red berries, pomegranate and elderberry with notes of rhubarb pie, mineral, salt, and tar all yielding remarkable flavor content! On the palate is a silky smoothness embellishing an extravagantly rich palate feel without disproportionate density. In a little time, the wine unveils very fine-grained structuring tannins. The fruit is opulent, luxurious, and stylish in character. I thought this would be a good pairing with white Tuscan bean soup and its sleight earthy notes. It proved to be a match made in heaven! Angove believes Cellar potential to be to 2036. About $42.
Imported by Trinchero Family Estates. A sample for review.
(1) credit Angove