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.