I’ve been going out of my comfort zone and purchasing wines I probably wouldn’t otherwise, all so I can experience a broader range in conjunction with my WSET Diploma course. That range means varietals, countries, winemaking methods of course. But it also means different levels of quality—as this is one of the most important points when writing your tasting notes for the exam. The next couple of reviews are literally going to be notes taken from my WSET notebook. They’ll be quick, fairly succinct, but include an explanation as to my reasoning behind any conclusions I’ve determined.

Wine: Gnarly Dudes Two Hands 2018 Shiraz

About the wine: 100% Shiraz from Barossa Valley, AU

Matured for 12 months in French oak, 13% new, and the remainder in one to six year old puncheons and hogsheads.

13.8% ABV

Price: $33.99 (wine.com)

Appearance: Deep ruby

Nose: medium (+) intensity of chocolate, blackberry jam, bramble, cooked black plum, cooked black cherry, boysenberry, black pepper, toast/tobacco, charred wood, meat

Palate: The palate is dry with medium (+) acid, medium alcohol, medium tannins, medium (+) body. Flavor intensity is medium (+) with the flavor profile including the fruits mentioned in the nose (blackberry, black plum, black cherry, boysenberry), but on the palate they are much fresher, less cooked/stewed/jammy than initially sensed on the nose. There’s also an element of spicefulness on the palate, not sensed initially on the nose. The smokey/tobacco/meaty notes are also present, sitting firmly in the back of the palate, more present in the after breath.

The finish is medium (+) in length.

Assessment of quality: I concluded that this wine is very good. It has a good level of intensity on both the palate and the nose, and is well balanced: The medium (+) level of acidity creates an element of freshness of fruits on the palate, while the gentle use of new oak provides those hints of spices. The tannins are present, but plush, sitting predominantly on the tongues, not drying out the gums, and melting away toward the finish. The only area the wine fell slightly short was in the finish, thus I could not mark it as an outstanding wine.

Suitability for bottle ageing: I do believe that the tannin structure, the level of acidity, and the amount of fresh fruit components within this wine means that it is suitable for long term aging. As the wine develops, those fruits will become more cooked, jammy, and dried in nature; the tannins will become even more supple; the mouthfeel more round and smooth.

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**Please note: all reviews and opinions are my own and are not associated with any of my places of business. I will always state when a wine has been sent as a sample for review. Sending samples for review on my personal website in no way guarantees coverage in any other media outlet I may be currently associated with.**

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