It takes a good effort to get me posting again, and that was delivered last week in a brown paper carton. Roger Pike has a strong following through the mailing list, and the wines have been selling out quickly in previous years. Marius wines personify what the McLaren Vale is capable for, and what I’d use to dispel the perpetual myth that South Australian wines are undrinkable highly alcoholic wines. I can vouch for the quality of these wines, which continue to be very well priced. 1 to keep, 1 to drink. Always.
Simpatico Shiraz 2014, McLaren Vale SA
Dark ruby-purple colour, what a lovely fresh youthful perfume. This is a wine that will grab your attention right out of the bottle. Sweet dark cherries, raspberries, bit of candy, then as it opens up you get hints of old pepper and Indian spice. A med-full bodied wine, the tannins are young, grippy initially then step back for the savoury dark fruit flavours to kick in. Moderate acidity, the overall structure of this wine is excellent. The 21 months of maturation in French and American hogsheads brings class to the glass. The back palate ends with a drier touch, the subtle long finish would make it perfect with lambs chops with a herb salad. Drink now – 2023. 93/100.
Symphony Shiraz 2014, McLaren Vale SA
The Symphony is made from a small parcel of fruit from Roger’s 4 acre ‘home block’ vineyard. Inky black purple colour, first impressions of this on the nose is that it’s more intense, it’s bigger, if it had more alcohol vapours you’d be tempted to think Barossa Valley. But the restraint is obvious, the wine is held back in leather straps. Warm aromas of blackberry, stewing cherries, cool summer floral scents, faint olive wash and tanned leather. Just like a comfy couch. What a yummy wine! First, the young tannins are obvious, still structurally taut, but the extended maturation time shows in the moderate influence on the mouthfeel. This is more serious with the wine maturing for 21 months in a mix of new and one-year-old French oak barrels. Lovely acidity refreshes the palate, then here comes the dark blackberry, cherry, olive flavour kicks. A long finish, this works so well with a nice medium-rare steak, just because you need some of those juices running. Drink now – 2030. 95/100.