Inkwell Perfect Day Shiraz 2014
I can’t help singing Lou Reed songs when I taste this wine. Am I alone there?
Anyway, these latest Inkwell releases are, by a fair margin, the best that Dudley & Irina have made, led by this Shiraz – which is a prime McLaren Vale red, in the ripe and luscious mode, which shows the value of great fruit and a light touch in the winery.
Wild fermented (which is still rare in McLaren Vale for Shiraz), this was aged in 50% new barriques. TA 5.9g/L (be gone added acid), pH 3.92. Minimal SO2 added.
Really classic lines here. It’s deep plum purple red and smells very ripe and generous, the nose starts with vanilla bean oak, then masses of black plum, and then black jelly beans and a little road tar.
As ever, what sets this apart if the evenness – the acid is all natural, the ripeness almost too much but then stops before going over into any notion of dead fruit. Just proper ripe.
It’s rare to talk about balance in McLaren Vale reds but I found myself thinking over and over again just how well this sits in the mouth. It straddles the ripeness tightrope, the acid all naturally low, the tannins just a bit raw but not enough to do anything beside reinforce the seriousness.
Vale red at its ripe and detailed best.
Best drinking: 2018-2030. 18.5/20, 94/100. 14.4%, $40. Would I buy it? Sure would. Something steak would match this nicely.
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Happy to see the discussion move to the ‘ripeness tightrope’ as with a warming climate high sugars are very difficult to avoid in some years due to phenolic ripeness lagging seriously behind. The acid issue is also close to heart with regards to ripening but we should keep in mind that often French wines from the Rhone (for example) have pH readings close to 4. They make some reasonably smart booze there apparently!
This sounds like a really smart wine, really well handled ,and after all there is always a great match to be had with rich foods and beautifully made fuller bodied wines. Cheers