AmiettaShiraz.JPG Fast Facts:
Variety: Shiraz
Region: Geelong
Country: Australia
Winemaker: Nicholas Clark & Janet Cockbill
Closure: Screwcap
Alcohol: 13.8%
Cost: $35AUD
Source: Winery Sample
Winery Website: Amietta Vineyard and Winery

Of all the wines sent to me, I was probably looking forward to trying this one the most, it received a glowing review from Ralph Kyte-Powell as well as the 2002 version of the wine receiving a high score from James Halliday and some trophies. Tasted from Riedel ‘O’ Shiraz (414/30) glassware.

Tasting Note: I tried two bottles of this wine, and both showed similar characters. A slightly feral, rustic, smoky nose as well as earthy characters, spices and blackberry along with some mild French oak backing. On the palate there were green, bitter tannins and a metallic influence that disrupted the line and length of the wine.

For the second bottle, I took the remaining wine in a cleanskin half bottle to a friend who is seriously into wine and whose palate I respect, in order to get a second opinion. I told him nothing about the wine other than that I would like his to try it and to hear his opinion. His comment, without influence from me, when he called me later than night was that it seemed a very good wine that was lurking underneath an increasingly feral nose with some astringency on the palate. He also said that he could think of other tasters that would enjoy the animalistic qualities on the nose.

So by now you are probably thinking that it may have a problem with brett. I spoke to Nicholas and he mentioned that the wine was “filtered to 1 micron at bottling because Brett bugs are 2 micron X 4 microns” as well as lab tested and returned with no detection of the 4 Ethyl Phenol and 4 Ethyl Guiacol compounds that would cause a wine to show this fault. Nicholas thinks that it may be a free sulphur issue which if I had a high ability to detect would influence the palate in such a way.

Verdict: Well, you can probably tell from the review that I found it not to my liking, I could see some positives in the nose, but I found the palate to be entirely off-putting. It could be the case that there is some bottle variation happening (even though I tried two bottles) or it could be the case that this is one of those wines that splits tasters into two groups, those that love it and those that really dislike it. 82 points.

Join the conversation! 4 Comments

  1. Free sulphur would subside with exposure to air? Did you not enjoy the JJ Prum rieslings as young wines..if you can drink those you are not sensitive to sulphur.


    PS. The use of the word ‘Verdict’ suggests that the wine is ‘on trial’ which I am not sure is an entirely positive way of looking at things.

  2. I agree Gary, both the first and second bottles had a long decant as well. Nicholas is going to send another bottle to the lab to be re-tested and I’ll post an update if anything interesting is discovered.

    What would you suggest in place of verdict? Happy to take on board any suggestions.

  3. Very thorough Cam, I dont expect you will be receiving any legal threats for this write up!

    I dont mind “Verdict”, but another suggestion could be “Conclusion” or “Summary”?

  4. Murray,

    I certainly hope not, Nicholas doesn’t seem like the kind of person to take that action.

    He did seem genuinely concerned about what I found and sent me a second bottle to test as well as taking the followup action of additional testing rather than reacting angrily and causing a negative response as was the case with the other winemaker.

    Summary and Conclusion would work I guess – will have a think about it.

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