55 dollars: Ten Miles East Syrah 2015
NEW ERA WINE SCORES GRAND TOTAL: 81 points. Balanced like a Buddhist monk.
This is a very good wine, but one that requires patience – and decanting – to reveal itself. It is ultra cool climate in style and bottled under screw-cap and that combination really represses the wine’s aromatic profile on first opening. It’s a wine that will evolve ever so slowly in bottle but has all the hallmarks of high cellarability. If you like cool climate style then this is superb Syrah.
Price per bottle: $55
Region: Adelaide Hills
Grape varieties: Syrah
Closure: Screw cap.
Drinking window: 2017 to 2030
1)Aromatic intensity, up to 5 points.
Mute at first but builds to 3.5 points.
2) Aromatic complexity, up to 5 points.
Incredibly subtle at first but builds to 3.5 as depths open up.
3)Aromatic attractiveness, up to 20 points.
Given air time it rises to 16 points worth of cool climate deliciousness, and offers up some classy, satin-smooth fruit.
4)Palate intensity, up to 5 points.
4 points. Good chomp and chew.
5)"Mouthscape" or "palate complexity", i.e. how much of an interesting experience in the mouth a wine delivers, up to 5 points.
4 points. Works over the whole palate well and persists.
6)Drinkability, i.e. how much the wine's total taste characteristics leave you thirsting for more, up to 20 points.
17 points. Yes I love this pitch and balance. True fine wine territory.
7)The morning-after test, i.e. how this wine looks on the second day after opening and beyond, up to 5 points.
4.5 points. Positively fires up over the hours and over night.
8)Cellarability, up to 10 points.
8 points. Has the very tightly wound feel of a top cellaring wine.
9)Individuality or how distinct the personality of a particular wine is, up to 10 points.
7. It’s shy but, for a South Australian Shiraz, it’s very unusual. It’s even unusual by Adelaide Hills Shiraz standards. It’s the tightest I’ve ever seen.
10) Look, packaging, label, up to 5 points.
3.5 points. Pretty.
11) Environmental credentials, story, philosophy, history, brand weight, up to 10 points.
The Ten Miles East vineyard occupies a cute spot in a special part of the Adelaide Hills, overlooking the city to the ocean from nearby vantage points. It’s a second generation operation now with James and Taiita taking on the work from the latter’s father. Their aspirations seem quite Eurocentric and a wine like this shows their serious intent in this savoury direction. 7 points.
12) SUBTOTAL: Add together the individual scores from points 1 to 11, above. Subtotal is scored out of 100 possible points.
1 Value-for-money, take SUBTOTAL and divide by price to give X, then multiply X by 2. 2X is the value for money score.
2 The grand total NEWS value for a given wine is the product of SUBTOTAL + the value-for-money score.
Below 70: May have outstanding features but also some drawbacks and I couldn’t recommend it in confidence.
80-89 highly recommended
90+ points: Remarkable wine. Theoretically a score over 100 is possible once the value-for-money factor is taken into account. Something around 105 would be the upper limit of perfection.