Collector Marked Tree Shiraz 2018

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The Canberra District had ideal growing conditions in 2018, low disease pressure and lovely warm days giving winemakers plenty of reason to be happy. Why do I mention this? Well it’s significant in relation to this wine. Where most winemakers would push for greater ripeness looking for fuller body and power, Collector winemaker Alex McKay has opted for elegance over richness. In a season like 2018 it would have been easy to push ripeness and alcohol levels past 14% but the Marked Tree Shiraz weighs in at a modest 13%.

It shows in the wine, the fruit flavours are in the red crunchy end of the spectrum and there’s obvious savoury spice here too. It’s perfect in this way as a far more interesting wine has emerged; I hate to use the term but it’s complex. It unwinds in the glass, initially it’s shy and savoury with notes of tar and pepper, but as it opens up, the red raspberry and redcurrant fruit shines through. Made with a view to earlier drinking, I suspect there’s reward for cellaring over the medium term as well. A food match? Steak sandwich on sourdough with a good relish and rugula.

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