2010 M. Chapoutier Tournon "Mathilda" Shiraz, Victoria (Elsewhere $16)

SKU #1147432 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 These Chapoutier wines are sometimes reviewed by my colleagues David Schildknect in his Languedoc-Roussillon report and Lisa Perrotti-Brown in her reviews of Australian wines, so I will just list the wines, my score, and the region from which they emerge. They are of very high quality and deserve readers’ attention. Hopefully my prose has convinced more than a handful of readers to try these remarkable wines from one of the most fascinating and compelling personalities in the entire wine world, and one dedicated to the highest quality.

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Opaque ruby. Smoky, slightly reduced aromas of dried cherry, dark berry skin and cured meat. Juicy, penetrating and spicy on the palate, offering tangy dark fruit flavors that become sweeter with air. Smooth and fruity on the finish, which lingers with very good energy and just a whisper of tannins. This appealingly fruity shiraz checks in at 13.5% alcohol, which makes it a lower octane wine than many of Chapoutier's Rhone Valley bottlings.  (8/ 2013)

James Halliday

 *Special Value Selection* Medium red-purple; made for reasonably early, relaxed consumption, and succeeds admirably; it's driven by its fresh red berry fruits, but does have some fine tannin support, and the overall mouthfeel and balance are good. The braille on the label is a nice touch.

Wine Spectator

 Smooth and spicy, tart on balance but ripe in flavor, with a black pepper edge to the cherry and nutmeg notes. Drink now through 2015. (Web-2012)

K&L Notes

This is a great deall in highly-rated Aussie Shiraz from Chapoutier combining lovely pure Australian fruit with some very traditional game and garrige notes harking back to the Rhone Valley. Winemaker's Notes: "brilliant, dark ruby colour, the nose is deep with black fruits and pepper aromas. On the palate supple and greedy with silky and elegant tannins.

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Price: $9.99

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By: Jim Chanteloup |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 12/9/2013  | Send Email
This wine is an example of Michel Chapoutier's continued interest in producing wines of character from Australia and with the cooler sites in the Pyrenees offering the proper setting for his biodynamic winemaking philosophy. The grapes are destemmed and fermentation takes place in concrete vats or stainless steel tanks with 2-3 weeks maceration on the skins for tannin structure and bottled 12 months later. The bouquet shows notes of light camphor,blackberry,boyesenberry,meats, an orange zest hi-tone and a hint of licorice. On the palate there are fine grained supple tannins and good length. For $10 there's a lot of wine and character here. Grab a case or two!

By: Ryan Woodhouse |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 12/9/2013  | Send Email
A real bargain! Crushed blackcurrant, forest berries, spice and subtle licorice. Juicy and vibrant on the palate with ample fruit and a nice mid-weight body. Not the least bit jammy or over-ripe, with great flavor concentration and freshness for a wine of this very modest price! The nice lift and delicate herbal note on the finish makes me think of wines of Rhone lineage. Great stuff!
Top Value!

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Shiraz/Syrah

- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.
Country:

Australia

- While it is true that the greatest strides in Australian winemaking have come in the last 30 years or so, commercial viticulture began as early as the 1820s and has developed uninterrupted ever since. The majority of the great Region are in the southeastern area of the continent, with the Barossa Valley, Claire Valley, McLaren Vale, and Coonawarra in South Australia, the Yarra Yarra Velley and Pyrenees in Victoria and the Upper and Lower Hunter Valleys in New South Wales. Many of the wines from Southeastern Australia are based on Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon and various blends including Grenache and Mourvedre. In Western Australia, along the Margaret River, great strides are being made with Pinot Noir as well as Bordeaux-styled reds. There are also many world-class releases of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling from the land Down Under. While many equate Aussie wines with "value", there are more than a few extremely rare and pricey options, which never fail to earn the highest ratings from wine publications and critics throughout the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from Australia.
Sub-Region:

Victoria