2011 Evans & Tate Metricup Road Shiraz

imageIncreasingly I wonder if many producers can make a go of Shiraz in the Margaret River. They might be able to sell their wares to West Australians but by and large most of the wines just don’t cut it. This may well be the last one I’m ever sent after the honesty of those remarks.

Over-ripe, lolly-like fruit. Splays across the tongue with a clumsy rasp of drying sandpaper tannin to close. Glossy and commercial in feel. Decent BBQ fare if you find it at the right price I suppose. 87

Region: Margaret River
Alcohol: 14.8%
Closure: Screwcap
Price: $24
Tasted: April 2014


This entry was posted in Margaret River, Shiraz, Syrah and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to 2011 Evans & Tate Metricup Road Shiraz

  1. Mark Gifford says:

    What are you saying!!!! Tim will haunt you for a lifetime now ;-)

    I’m abroad and I can’t check if we sent you ours – will rectify if I didn’t :)


  2. It was sent and reviewed and better than this.


    But still on the ripe and unsophisticated side for me although the quality and application of the oak were worthy of praise. A couple of oak and sweet fruit lovers (like Tim) disagreed with me :) Your Merlot Cab Franc is streets ahead.

  3. Pierre Prentice says:

    Good on you for grabbing the elephant in the room by the tusks; but observation applies to dozens of other Aussie shirazes too.

  4. I think Australian Shiraz is in a very strong place right now. We’re seeing more balanced and interesting renditions come from the traditional areas like the Barossa and McLaren Vale, the Grampians has always made wonderful Shiraz, it’s the dark horse of the Yarra Valley and I’m beginning to see promise in the Great Southern. That’s not even touching on the the Canberra district or of course, the Hunter Valley!

    My remark refers to the quality of Margaret River Shiraz in a general sense, and there are exceptions such as Cape Mentelle, Voyager etc. It should not be construed as an attack on (the incredibly broad) territory covered by Australian Shiraz.

  5. Pierre Prentice says:

    Can’t disagree that we’re getting much better at making shiraz (as we have done quite spectacularly with chardonnay).
    Shiraz had a curve ball thrown at it with global warming. Look what it did to Heathcote which went from shiraz rooster to feather duster (well not quite, but nearly) in the 2000s.
    There’s still an awful lot of Aussie shiraz wine that is scarcely distinguishable from intense, high quality grape juice with 15-16% of vodka added.

  6. Colin r says:

    Well said Pierre,
    I still think that many of Heathcote shiraz producers are of the belief that their shiraz must be a minimum 14.5% alcohol to gain acceptance.
    It has become increasingly difficult to find quality Heathcote shiraz with a moderate level of alcohol.
    I hope 2010 was not the exception.


  7. Pierre – yes, there are still many abominations of that kind.

    Colin – if you’re still keen on Heathcote Shiraz and put off by stated ABVs then have a look at The Journey Heathcote Shiraz 2012. But remember that Australian law allows a deviation of + or – 1.5% when it comes to what is listed on the bottle. It’s far too lax and not because of issues with alcohol warmth; consumers deserve better when it comes to knowing how much alcohol they’ve ingested. Personally I have no problem with 14.5% Heathcote Shiraz that is balanced. It’s not a cool climate region. I wonder if you might be better served at this point exploring other areas?

  8. Pierre Prentice says:

    I understand that the tolerance for labelling alcohol content was tightened from 1.5% (which I agree is lax to the point of being meaningless) to 0.5%. After half an hour trawling the net and poring over the Food Standards Code, I’m none the wiser as to if/when this change is effective. Does anyone know?

    • Pierre – if that has happened it’s managed to escape my attention. Certainly a possibility but I would have thought there would have been a lot of noise surrounding such a move.

  9. Mark Gifford says:

    My comment really is an observation and some personal discrimination ;) JP and others have noted the areas in which Shiraz makes wine of interest – but I would like to state that those wines are more of place than variety. Wines of Shiraz are perhaps the most distinctive in picking up their “terroir” than almost any other grape and I believe it is due to the grapes preference for a unique growing season, and as such Australia’s huge divergence from the “homeland” Rhone growing season. Thus I believe that Shiraz could be considered the variety that Australia has actually NOT come close to the primary style of the variety.

    Is this a bad thing? Parker didn’t think so, and he rattled off 100points like candies in a sweets store. But personally, I’m always a little underwhelmed. The “great” Shiraz of Grange, St Henri, various OTT Barossan and Mac Vales, raspberry sweet infused Victorians and Canberrans, and the strangely lean and liquorice-y Hunters, are really just indicators of their home not of the grape. I have NEVER tasted an Aus Shiraz that is even close to a great Cote Rotie or many a northern Rhone, BUT, I have tasted many other varietals that could hide in a line up of great old world growths and not feel out of place (yes, Pinot included).

    Thus are we to say that we have actually broken the varietal “familial ties” and made our own way in the world? I reckon so. You actually have to enjoy Australian Shiraz to like the best that this country has to offer, and possible a regional style of Aus Shiraz as well.

    It’s an interesting discussion as many wineries (us included), like to have that old world prop when talking about our wines. But when it comes to our Shiraz, Teroldego, and Viognier – there is no substance to our claims – we are shackled to our climate and soils, for better for worse.


  10. I’ll leave the quality (as opposed to expression) of Australian vs Rhone debate alone Mark but I’m probably a little more positive about the situation and the future than you :) As far as Australia carving its own territory with the grape I totally agree. The Hunter is the clearest example of this for me although I’d probably throw the Grampians/Great Western into the equation. It’s all open for debate. I guess it’s something I view as an immensely positive development as there is not one region (including the Margaret River) which has failed to produce a regional interpretation which I’ve been able to enjoy on a personal level. That isn’t to say I don’t have my favourites and areas that I would suggest (NOT assert – it’s the dialogue I’m after) are more suited to the variety than others.

    I’ve just submitted a piece on the diversity of Australian Shiraz to a magazine. After interviewing a fairly decent number of winemakers who I believe make compelling renditions it was interesting to note that all but one of them suggested that Shiraz was as good a vehicle for expressing both site-specific and regional terroir as Pinot Noir. That runs against a lot of the (Burgundian?) rhetoric I come across.

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