This was quite, let’s say, interesting for me. I cannot remember ever reviewing a fortified wine…ever! I mean, I’ve tried plenty of them and I am, without a doubt, a fan so to put one in a glass for me to try, there’s definitely going to be a positive attitude towards it. This however required a different approach (if you like) because it involved reviewing it. I was sort of compelled to look at it more deeply and, fair enough too. I rather liked the challenge and welcomed it. Ultimately, on a good note, it gave me more of an appreciation of this style of wine rather than just utter the words, “I like this” or just sit back and enjoy it.
To start with, I felt sorry for this wine because I’ve no doubt it confuses those who don’t know how to treat it. Fortified is not a word that rings true to many thanks to a European country that ‘patented’ the words ‘Port’ and ‘Tawny’, which are more in keeping with the knowledge of the masses (no offence intended). It looks just like any other red wine in the glass, yet it can’t, and doesn’t, say, “I’m not your usual red wine so don’t have me with steak” kinda thing. This only becomes obvious when you smell it and try it. Speaking of which, let me tell you what I thought of it.
If you do buy a bottle, have a look at the colour from the top of the glass. It is deep and dense in the middle and peters out to a pretty crimson on the edges. It smells fresh and fruity and sweet thanks to some blackberry and blackcurrant aromas. The palate is quite rich where those same fruits are dominant and complimented by some slight licorice notes. As I tasted it over three days, the black fruit characters hung around with the addition of fulsome mid palate plums as the licorice character faded. You can’t escape the sweetness but it is in balance with the fruit, and gee it lingers beautifully on the palate.
People may not agree with me on this but, as much as it will stand the test of (some) time, drink up I say. It is most enjoyable now too.
Region: Mudgee, NSW Price: $25 Source: Sample thanks to Huntington Estate and Define Wine