The Dalwhinnies and Warrenmangs of the world may fly the flag admirably for high-end Pyrenees wine, but lately, I've been really impressed by a number of more modestly priced Pyrenees reds, from emerging brands such as Blue Pyrenees, Mitchell Harris and Mount Avoca. The last two names mentioned here share an important resource; the winemaking skills of one John Harris.
Mount Avoca's 2009 Shiraz may well contain some viognier, but v-weed sceptics needn't worry because it's disguised well. In fact, its aroma just beams sexy young shiraz appeal. It's bright, fruity and vividly ripened; showing classic Australian form, yet its proudest punch is pulled by a minty, regional whiff of eucalyptus, whilst a toasty side note of fragrant coffee/vanilla oak complements a drier, more savoury edge. The palate slides in with a fine assortment of medium-bodied, rich, silky flavours, all cleverly offset by a gritty acid/tannin balance, but its most pleasing feature may be the way its bright fruit fore-palate translates into lingering, savoury, earthen tones, spiced up by a dry touch of clove. For its price, the transition is something special. So is its ripeness, brightness, winemaking, balance, polish...
ü+ An incredible, delicious effort from a hot, trying vintage. Undoubtedly one of the bargains of the year thus far. Outstanding value. Drink to 2017.