Take a quick look around any Australian liquor store and you'll notice vintage fortifieds aren't the most popular style around, but one thing's for sure, you can always rely on Stanton and Killeen to make a stunning example of the style. In addition to shiraz and durif grapes, Stanton and Killeen's 2002 also includes the classic Portuguese varieties of touriga nacional, tinta cao, tinta barocca and tinta roriz.
Crimson red/garnet in colour, the 2002 reveals a funky, complex and deep nose that shares some elements with maturing warm-climate shiraz, although there's also an obvious, generous whiff of fortifying spirit ever present. Liqueur cherry and stewed date aromas lead the bouquet, which also presents nuances of rich chocolate/plum sauce and boot polish with a savoury hint of spicy, seasoned oak residing throughout its spirity fumes. Its wonderfully elegant palate is gentile in more of a medium-bodied style, with lusciously rich and sweet, shiraz/durif influenced brandied cherry and plum flavours harnessed by the savoury and rustic qualities of the Portuguese varieties, which add complexity and character to the aftertaste in particular. Its silky smooth textures are drawn down the palate by traces of sour acidity, polished, matured tannins and an all too welcoming coverage of spirity warmth underscored by choice flavours of game meats and raisin.
ü+ Only just starting to hit its straps, the 2002 is a classic reflection of Stanton and Killeen's efforts to make a fortified wine which balances both Australian and Portuguese traditions. Drink to 2017.