Sultry and Bold: The Story of the Cellared Tintara 2003 Shiraz

Can you say no? I can't.

My parents have received quite a few bottles of wine as gifts, but since they rarely drink alcohol many of these have been sitting around for years and years. A few days ago I realized that some of them must now be magnificently cellared reds and decided to go exploring in their alcohol cabinet. The one I decided to pick was the Tintara 2003 Shiraz of McLaren Vale.

McLaren Vale is a wine region in South Australia that is well known for their Shiraz. According to Wikipedia, McLaren Vale boasts 3,218 hectares of Shiraz vines and their wines are know for their “ripeness, elegance, structure, power and complexity”. After that I knew I was getting myself in a pretty awesome situation.

So now the wine. This is a full-bodied wine with an alcohol content of 14.5%. I have never tasted anything quite like this in my life. The first thing I noticed is the dryness. You can taste the bold accents of pepper and oak, which is a result of the 18 months that it spent maturing in American and French oak. There is no hint of sweetness and the flavor is POWERFUL. The aroma is slighty fruity but the taste is less so. I had to take some time to come back to reality, because this wine left me completely speechess! In other words, it was love at first taste.

Unfortunately I do not know what the 2003 costs or if it is still available for purchase. However the 2007 seems to cost around ~$15 so I would definitely be interested to see what a younger Tintara Shiraz tastes like. However if you happen to get your hands on one of these gems, you won’t regret the opportunity to be seduced by this magnificent Shiraz!