The Next Big Thing?
Fashions run through wine, as through everything. In antiquity, the Romans drank wine saturated with honey and diluted with seawater (I offered this, or something like it, to a history-themed tasting. Nobody liked it save one taster, who compared it to a dirty martini). Dry champagne swept across Britain late in the nineteenth century, and so far shows no sign of leaving. More recently, there has been a fashion for enormously extracted, dense, heavy red wines. d'Arenberg's Dead Arm Shiraz is one such, but I am beginning to think that the spotlight is ready to move on.
There were many excellent wines at the Australia Day Tasting in Edinburgh, but one of the best I tasted was the Gemtree 'Obsidian' Shiraz ('05). It had the expected red fruitiness, and some fragrant smoke, but much more interesting was the savoury, herbaceous aspect. At three-and-a-half years old it is perfect right now, mellow and chocolate-y, with a brilliant balance between acidity and fruity sweetness. A fantastic 5 pointer, and definitely ready to step into the limelight.