2006 Pillar Box Red
Region: Padthaway (Australia)
Varietal: Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot
Decant, decant, decant. I find myself talking about this more and more when it comes to red wines, especially new ones. It’s funny, even the consulting winemaker for this latest reviewed wine Chris Ringland recommends it. Why is decanting so important? To start with, any red wine will benefit from decanting as exposure to the atmosphere allows it to oxidize which assists in unlocking its aromas and helps to soften the tannins which if you have had a new wine right out of the bottle, can often be green and biting. Decanting can also assist in bringing the wine serving temperature up which for most reds is typically between 14 and 18 degrees Celsius. As far as decanters go, they range price wise from between fifteen to hundreds of dollars and my only recommendation is to go with one that has a drying stand as this is handy for cleaning.
So, a little about this winery, Henry’s Drive have been in production since 1996 in Padthaway, South Australia and the Pillar Box Red is one of their entry level offerings. This wine lives under a screwcap and is a blend of 50% Shiraz, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Merlot of which has seen time in both American and French oak. Outside bottle appearance, the minimalist design of its label is cool and makes the wine seem more expensive than it actually is. Poured into a glass, color wise it has a dark reddish maroon tint and on the nose there is toasted oak and dark fruits with also some menthol or minty notes that are intriguing (I have decanted for over an hour). Upon the first sips, there is dark fruit (stewed cherries perhaps), powerful charred oak and some subtle spice. The finish is short and simple, with tannin and alcohol driving the experience home.
The verdict: This wine has tremendous potential with a very interesting nose but has a few hang ups. First, the alcohol level is stunning and literally burns the mouth which isn’t something I particularly enjoy. It has good complexity in aroma and flavors but is unbalanced and takes it over the top typified with its hot finish. This might be a wine that stylistically is what some consumers are looking for but to me lacks finesse. I would look to mate it with a medium rare peppercorn steak or grilled lamb as these meats would tone this wine down a bit and make the overall experience a satisfying one.
- 2006 Pillar Box Red
- by Adrian Bryksa
- Published on December 10th, 2008
More from Adrian Bryksa:
Bassermann-Jordan Deidesheimer Paradiesgarten Riesling Kabinett
November 4th, 2008 a historic day for the United States and the world. I believe I may have found a historic German Riesling!
Cooper Mountain Vineyards Cooper Hill Pinot Noir
I have been inspired to revisit Pinot Noir as when it is done right, can be heaven in a glass and when done incorrectly, can be a pure disaster. To me it is the thrill of the hunt for that special pinot that is so alluring.
Conti Zecca Donna Marzia Primitivo IGT
Valentine’s Day might be a commercial holiday for some, but it seemed like a good enough day to hit up the cellar and try out some Italian red.
Nugan Estate Manuka Grove Vineyard Durif
I remember the day I first tried this wine and it was all I talked about with all my oenophile friends. I rushed out and bought as much as I could and stockpiled it in my cellar. Since then, many Merlots, Shirazes and Chardonnays have become between us.
Clos de Los Siete
This wine is exciting with dark, inky deep purple tones to it. With the first sniffy sniff, there is a nice blackberry component poking through with some white pepper and a nice hint of toasted oak. To stand up to this wine, match it up with some hard, old Cheddar and biscuits.
Esser Cellars Chardonnay
Coming out of the bottle, it exhibited a pale honey straw-ish color and the nose is delivered a bit of baked apple and honey along with some toasted oak, which almost makes it seem like apple pie.
Other recent features:
Sónar 2010 – Barcelona, Spain
The festival attracts a lot of outsiders, but the Mediterranean, Spanish and more specifically Catalan nature of the people makes the festival what it is. Catalan people are passionate and this passion is infectious. The atmosphere is electric in Barcelona as a city and heightened by music and intoxicants at Sónar.
Summer Party Naval Styles at Seven RestoLounge
Oysters, like wine are affected by terroir and these Miyagi’s flavor profiles ranged with one showing a cleaner, almost tropical profile and the other being more salty, marine driven. As I was devouring the seemingly endless plates put in front of us, I sipped on a glass of fine sauvignon blanc.
R4NT Radio March 2010
R4NT Radio March 2010 um wow it’s been far too long since the last edition edition, featuring: Hector Hernandez, The Infesticons, Blockhead, Gramatik, Emika, Thunderheist, Parov Stelar, Eddy Meets Yannah, Anti-Pop Consortium, The Slew, Lighterthief, Andreya Triana, Parasyte Woman, Mathon, Venetian Snares, and Funki Porcini.
O Restaurant & Lounge revisited
Calgary has a diverse set of urban communities, most of which have the ubiquitous strip mall watering hole. In the South West community of Marda Loop, a reinvention of this paradigm has been established.
Predictions 2010.. and beyond!
So 2010 eh? Almost but not quite (no year zero they say) another decade? It seems like just yesterday that the world was waiting for Y2K. R4NT started publishing in March 2001, so we’re not quite 10 years old yet, but in internet years we are already a senior citizen.
No matter what, the reality of Nelson Mandela is something that deserves screen time. Should this film even remotely intrigue the masses to take interest in this figure, the world would likely benefit greatly from it.