Friday, July 24, 2009

Tasting Notes: 2006 Shiraz Cabernet


PRODUCT: Karra Yerta Wines 2006 Shiraz Cabernet
APPELLATION: Eden Valley & Barossa
VARIETY: Shiraz Cabernet
BOTTLED: October 4th, 2008
ALCOHOL: 14.5%
TA: 7.69g/l
PH: 3.44
PRODUCTION: 170 cases/dozen
CELLARING: drink now to 2015

This Shiraz Cabernet is a blend of Barossa and Eden Valley Shiraz and 13% Eden Valley Cabernet. Made by James Linke of Karra Yerta Wines at Biscay Road Vintners. Aged 24 months in French Oak. With flavours of blackberry, blackcurrant, lavender and violets this wine is ready to drink now but will also benefit from cellaring. Screwcap.

94+++/100 points Philip White - "Drinkster", Adelaide
The stony, barren ridge at the top of Flaxman's, where the ancient rocks poke through high above the Barossa, is the home of some of the world's most expensive and elusive shiraz wines. (Think Ringland, next door. McLean's Farm at the northern end; Mountadam at the southern.) This vineyard is windswept and wild, freezing in the winter, and even cool at night in the midst of the most vicious heatwaves. So this rare tincture has quite a lot to live up to. It has the most intense and complex bouquet, riddled with twists of beauty that seem so blacksmithed into compression they unwind in a dreadfully gradual and teasing manner. Musk, lavendar, violets, licorice, mint, cedar, sandalwood, vetiver, blackcurrant, blackberry, beetroot, morel, porcini, ancient soy, salt, schist, podsol, guano, gunpowder, swarf, burlap ... I dunno. I could go on, and I've only had my hooter in the glass for thirty minutes. I know now that this wine is gonna be a king hell striptease viper with a voice like Barry White and Grace Jones for a Mum. The palate's disarming and confronting from the first sip: just mildly viscous, especially compared to the intensity of its flavours, with, yep, the lithe form of the black whipsnake slithering around your mouth like some professional girls apparently dance on poles. It's strangely compact and intense, as I've said too many times, but still seems ethereal in its saucy habit of letting little shots of its myriad components just go: they're there for a flash as they evaporate, and suddenly they're replaced by something else. And on and on it goes. The dance of the hundred and summit veils. Sometime a long way off all these bits and pieces will assimilate and homogenise and the damned thing will be mature and formal and very, very famous, and those astonishing components will let go at the same time in equal proportions and really, really gradually, but shit, that'll kill people, and by Bacchus I love it now. I doubt that I can stay alive long enough to drink it at its peak, and if I did, it'd kill me anyway. Karra Yerta has never hit the top ten in the glambam gobstopper any price you like stakes, but it will, and it will outshine most of those wannabeez and cooderbeenz. This is a stunning, secret wine. Gimme! JAN 09

Please find the two glowing reviews from August 2009 below; one from Julian Coldrey ( and Gary Walsh (

Karra Yerta 2006 Shiraz Cabernet

This wine (and winery) defines boutique in many respects. A limited run production of 170 cases, made by James Linke from Eden Valley and Barossa fruit, then blended by Pete Schell to create this quite outstanding little number. When I asked the engaging Marie Linke the intent behind this wine, her answer was "a good home brew, for ourselves, but plans change." And how.

I tasted this over two days, and recommend a good decant at the very least if drinking now. The nose is almost provocatively complex, with notes of gunpowder, barbecued meats, five-spice, lavender, mulberries and cocoa powder. It sounds cacophonous but it's more like a plaid wool blankie: textured and comforting. The aroma profile softened overnight, not becoming less complex but simply settling into its groove, less puffed out, more sophisticated. If there's a hint of volatility, it works well to lift into and penetrate the nostrils.

The palate has shown an even greater transformation with time. At first, unexpectedly bright red fruit shoots down the mouth, accompanied by the same savouriness as in the aroma, falling away a bit on the after palate. A couple of hours later, it fills out significantly, gaining weight and elegance at the same time, and losing the slightly disjointed construction I saw at first. The next day, now, it has melted into a thing of beauty, a limpid pool of dark richness that seems to dissolve onto the tongue with an impossible sense of control. The fruit flavour has gone to dark cherries, with a range of other flavours (including sappy oak) that resist being teased apart from one another. The slinky mouthfeel is a highlight here; tannins are almost excessively fine and ripe.

This is a "fall in love" sort of wine; distinctive, beautiful. I'm not going to resist.

Karra Yerta Wines
Price: $A25
Closure: Stelvin

Karra Yerta 2006 Shiraz Cabernet

Tuesday, Aug 25 2009 · Posted in Barossa Valley, Eden Valley, shiraz et al

By Gary Walsh

Good old Shiraz Cabernet - the classic Australian blend that goes against the current prevailing train of thought that mono-varietal makes for superior wine. I’ve no idea why this should be the case, and I’m always surprised, and non wine bore people even more so, when I tell them that blends are ‘really good and it’s OK to drink them…really!’ There’s 170 dozen of this particular blend made.

Lots going on here - plump blueberry/dark cherry fruit, wool wash, nutty nougat oak - floral and meaty too. It’s medium to full bodied with plenty of juicy cherry jam flavour (not sweet though) mingling with a coal-like savouriness and regional eucalypt. Perfectly pitched tannin - ripe but firm - the flow through the palate and length all excellent. Bargain. Should cellar well.

Rated : 93 Points
Tasted : Aug09
Alcohol : 14.5%
Price : $25
Closure : Screwcap
Drink : 2010 - 2016+

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