New Zealand having vanquished Australia in the Rugby World Cup semi-final this past Sunday, it would have been appropriate to open something Kiwi to go with our braai, but there was only Aussie wine to hand, specifically a bottle of Basket Press Shiraz 1996 from boutique Barossa producer Rockford.
A wine of considerable power but whereas most of the example from this region I have encountered seem ungainly, this remained balanced. Great flavour intensity including both red and black fruit as well as spice, in particular cinnamon. Beautifully structured with concentrated fruit playing off against tannins just starting to soften and snappy acidity.
A fellow drinking companion described it as “singular” in a pejorative sense; I thought this was precisely what made it memorable – impossible to imagine a local example of the same age that would’ve come close. Score: 17/20.