Philip Shaw The Idiot Shiraz 2010, Koomooloo, Orange, New South Wales, Australia

Drunk June 2012 

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The winery

The Koomooloo vineyard peaks at an altitude of 900 metres on the side of the extinct volcano Mount Canobolas. With less than 1% of Australian vineyards above 600 metres, Koomooloo is one of the highest vineyards in Australia.  The altitude provides cooler conditions throughout the growing season.Deep aged limestone is at the base of Koomooloo with volcanic-rock soil forming the sub-section and the topsoil is predominantly wind blown fine red loess from Central Australia (150mm), some of the oldest on the planet.

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The wine

Philip Shaw says on his web site "I think great wines should have silk, a softness, a texture – in chardonnay and pinot particularly but to some degree it should be in all wines. The tannins should be elegant and soft. It's about finishing a wine off, not refining it, but getting it right. It's in the making – a marriage between the vineyard and the winemaking. You only have to look at a lot of Burgundian winemakers where there may be 10 to 20 different vignerons in the same vineyard owning three to four rows each and the quality of the wines and differences in styles is just enormous – it’s not only the vineyard, it's the making, the union."

The first thing that struck me with this Aussie Shiraz was how peppery the wine smelt as soon as you opened the bottle. The peppery, spicy afternote continued as you sipped it. Exactly as I like a new world Shiraz. Really smooth with food and fantastic complexity.