The Gate by Shingleback Shiraz 2015 (McLaren Vale, SA)
THE SHINGLEBACK LABEL has gone back to back, the Shingleback Davey Estate 2014 having taken out top honours last year. This year’s champion is a big, deep, lively wine, inky dark, with a nose of violets, chocolate and pepper. The fruit is very ripe but not to the detriment of freshness and vitality. Helping in this regard are slaty tannins that give the wine an attractive edge of minerality. Still tightly wound, this elegant yet urgent wine will reward time in the cellar. (A)
EASY TO LIKE Shingleback winemaker and co-proprietor John Davey describes our top shiraz as “the relaxed guy at the party with the open-neck shirt who gets along with everyone.” He says he hesitates to use the term ‘icon’ wine, but he puts The Gate on a top pedestal with the label’s ‘D Block’ range. “But while the D Block wines take time to open up, The Gate is more of a fun wine, giving immediate satisfaction. It’s quite traditional, deeply coloured and rich. We go to the edge of the cliff of ripeness but don’t jump.” Davey is currently working his 30th vintage as a winemaker. For most of those he has worked for large companies, but the last 10 have been with Shingleback, an estate and brand he created with his brother Kym. “These are wines I have designed from the ground up. We planted the vineyards here in McLaren Vale and have done everything the way we wanted.” When it came to choosing a food match, he said despite having unconventional leanings in that regard (he has been known to eat it with fish), he’d probably recommend steak béarnaise or beef bourguignon.