Mike Press Wines Adelaide Hills Single Vineyard Shiraz

At its lofty 500m altitude, Mike Press’ vineyard is cool and high at the best of times, producing shiraz of edgy black pepper personality even in a warm season. In the abnormally cool 2011 vintage this character is compounded to levels unfamiliar even in the Adelaide Hills, creating the most graceful, pretty and elegantly medium-bodied Mike Press shiraz to date. The hue is the palest from this vineyard yet, a light to medium, vibrant purple, reflective of the season. It’s packed with intense cracked black pepper, enticing clove spice, lifted violet perfume and lively plum, blackberry and black cherry fruit. The tannin structure is ultra-fine-boned, mineral, even chalky, with an understated velvet texture, perfectly gauged to complement the graceful style of the vintage, accented by tense acidity and subtle, nutty oak. Still a desperately young wine, it needs a vigorous swirl in a decanter to coax out its layers and length and it will benefit from time in the cellar to build depth. This not just a triumph for the tough 2011 vintage, it’s a wine of beauty, alluring internal harmony and inherent balance. I didn’t expect to like it much at all, but I found it nothing less than compellingly, gloriously enticing. $10.50 direct.