A couple of fine releases from 2008 might have eased concerns over the immediate fate of Lindemans Coonawarra, but what about little old Padthaway? Although the region has yet to scale the heights once hoped for by some of the larger companies, I've always found pleasure in Padthaway's pungent chardonnays and minty reds. Still, it interested me to see Lindemans' 2005 Reserve Padthaway Shiraz won 'Top Gold' at the '07 National Wine Show.
For a relatively affordable 'Reserve Shiraz', Lindemans' 2006 smells raw, oaky, under-fruited and to put it bluntly; unpolished and jagged. It's been a while since I sat down with a wine like this. Its fruit seems diminished; barren if you will, with fledgling aromas of prunes and varnish showing no signs of the choc-mint/menthol characters I find appealing in Padthaway reds. The palate follows suit with a hard blockiness that envelops its docile, thin, dead fruit character, but rather more surprising is the emanating presence of alcohol given its stated 13.5%, in what is a very thin, altogether vacant conclusion. The words 'vibrancy', 'life' and 'character' are about as relevant here as the word 'under-exposed' is to an Oprah tour of Australia.
X The 2008 of this is already out and given the high praise afforded to Lindemans' 2008 Coonawarra releases, I'd hedge my bets on that instead. That is of course, if this is your kind of thing. 'Yuck', she said. Drink now.