Alcohol is a natural preservative and it seems to be playing that role in the case of Hartenberg The Stork Shiraz 2003, a wine with an abv given as 15% on the label and 15.5% according to the 2006 edition of Platter’s.
The Stork is Hartenberg’s answer to Barossa and is intended to be rich and powerful but as we all know such wines can easily become overdone – when I encountered the 2006 vintage (abv of 14.74%) at the media preview tasting for this year’s Nederburg Auction tasting I found it “big, hollow, uninteresting” and it scored it 15/20.
The 2003 matched with braaied peri-peri chicken over the weekend was much more compelling with loads of red and black fruit and plenty of spice, including coriander in particular. Rich and thick textured, it still had drinkability. Most striking perhaps was how youthful it was. Score: 18/20.