I had planned to just review the wine, but I think I'm going to digress quite a lot here so bear with me if you just want to know what the wine is like.
I've had a number of bottles of this wine, and before I start I confess to being a sucker and heathen for huge wines. It started many years ago and David Noon is the culprit with his "Burgundy", which was hilariously misnamed as there was no Pinot with miles of it and it was 16% or there abouts. That wine just screamed "wake up" to my taste buds, and I've never been the same since.
Now there's been a ton of chat I've been reading lately about high alcohol wines, here, here and here for example. And before I finish linking, this one is a very interesting read if you're a James May type. Now my take is that alcohol is irrelevant if the winemaker can balance it, ie. my dry Shiraz should not taste like a vintage port, but I am definitely happy to have variety in my Shiraz styles and terroir can take a flying leap in this case.
Back to the CR Shiraz, at 16.5% this is clearly on the upper scale of alcohol by volume, and when I opened it tonight the alcohol was masking almost all the fruit aromas. But knowing this wine fairly well I was surprised by this, and then the light went on, it's finally spring here and the wine's temperature is 24C now. Previously I'd tried this wine at sub-20C and it was definitely a better wine when cooler, so the actual tasting temperature may be even more critical for higher alc/vol wines.
So, to the tasting. It's probably as huge as they come.
I'm kinda tempted to stop there, but in a bit more detail, it's got loads of fruit, so many I can't even begin to name them, but plenty of dry tannins to offset that. It is fairly low on perceptible acid but I like that as the alcohol and tannins are providing enough zing on their own.
Don't have this with fish, probably not even Tuna. Actually, don't drink it in summer either.
I love it. Not all will.