From the Cellar

Shinas Estate 2009 The Verdict

08 Aug 2023


This is a Cabernet Sauvignon from Australia I'd never seen before, it was recommended to me by my buddy Dave in Michigan - if you look close enough at the picture you can see the orange price tag and maybe even the price. I asked Dave what he thought the wine would be like today: "Should be great upon opening, falling off after an hour." - he's only partially right

Shinas Verdict 2009Full disclosure, I did have this in the fridge so it was a little too cold when it emerged. I waited 30 minutes before opening and trying it, to give it a better chance of survival. It was under screwcap, so no worries there. But when poured into the glass it was extremely cloudy (unfiltered?).

Aromas ... Oh God, this smells terrible - full on pruney and not in a good way (can there be a pruney good way?).

Taste ... Poorly made port ... It was nasty just sweet and unexciting - I was ready to dump and try something else, but I persevered, and gave it some more time.

30 mins open ... Ok, now we are starting to see signs of life: Eucalyptus, sweet black cherry, still has a pruney-ness about it, but it isn't as god-awful as I had feared from the beginning - cloudiness is still there.

1 hr open ... Hmmm ... Developing a sweet raspberry jam quality - interesting.

2 hrs open ... Yeah, it's totally pruney, it never lost that aspect, but it did also develop notes of sweet dried fruits like raspberry and strawberry. It's old-sweet-fruit here - it's good but not great; tasty but not fresh; there were port/sherry-like nuances that detracted, but did not fully take me out of the experience.

Bottom Line ... Can't say either way- it's not the best old screwcap find I've had, but it certainly isn't the worst old wine I've had either. It's a middling wine that is past it's prime, but still held my interest for a few hours. It's gone from "really good" (youth) to "I guess I'll drink it"(now). Not sure it was built for 14 years, but it was decent fun for a Saturday night.

*Every wine is an education.

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