Once upon a time, there were several wine shops in St Andrews. One was independent. The others were chain shops. One of those chain shops was an Oddbins, and it was an excellent one, run by people who were enthusiastic and curious about wine. It wasn't quite as awesome as the independent, but it was fun and separated itself from the other chains kicking about. It managed to be good when being a good Oddbins was one of the most difficult things to do in the British wine trade.
At a dinner party last month some of the former Oddbins staff and yours truly, a former/current independent staff member, opened some odd bottles and this was one of them. It had been a gift, many years ago, and fulfilled its destiny that night: to be laid down for a few years and opened in good company.
We're all, for the most part, old world snobs these days. This was eye opening.
Ruby turning slightly to rust.
Soft, savoury nose with briary plum fruit and a dash of wood spice.
Incredibly pleasant, mature palate. Soft but firm tannins. There's also a bit of pipe tobacco, bit of cedar. It's a revelation to taste well-made Australian Shiraz with this sort of age on it. Delightful and more than a match for the roast roe deer. This wine was 6-8 quid when it was released. Food for thought.
**** Tasted at Naughton 12/11/2010