Saturday, September 3, 2011


- Pyrenees, VIC
- $29.95
- Screwcap
- 14.0%alc

It's always interesting to compare the work of one winemaker producing two closely priced renditions of one style for two different brands. Johnno Harris crafted a brightly fruited, delicious Pyrenees shiraz with his 2009 Mount Avoca release (92pts), which leads me to his similarly viognier influenced 2009 Mitchell Harris Shiraz (3% viognier here compared to 4.5% in the Mount Avoca).

Dark and ultra-ripe but not over-ripe, with a slight skinsy/dried apricot-like whiff of viognier, the 2009 Mitchell Harris opens to a fragrance dripping with black suggestions; plums, dates and bramble berries, perhaps tar and a sniff of white pepper, with a soft oak influence indicative of older barrels. Through the darkness roams a minor scent of dried leaf, but it's fleetingly apparent and far from defining, providing no more than a green edge to its black ball of fruit. The palate is marked by a gritty rawness, or hardness, clinging to its very dry finish, which upsets and dislodges its initially smooth and earthy movement of bright, medium-weighted forest berry flavours. With that in mind, its ideal setting might be at the dinner table for now, or possibly the cellar for later.

O For me, I much prefer the 2009 Mount Avoca Shiraz over this. It just seems a more complete, sensuous and subsequently delicious wine. But to confuse matters, here's a link to a beautifully articulated look at the two John Harris wines, from a seasoned blogger whose preference might just contradict mine. Drink 2014-2017.
89 points

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