The HTW website reviews this as big, rich and jammy, but I beg to differ somewhat. Yes it is fruit driven, but I wouldn't really call it big or jammy, at least as far as McLaren Vale Shiraz goes. They then go on to claim balance, and that's a pretty fair assessment.
The nose makes it pretty clear that you're about to taste some black fruits, and that you'll bloody well love em. It's fairly full bodied though not too chewy, with impressively smooth tannins giving just the right amount of dryness with no real astringency. A slightly sweet mid palate of blackberry, plum, and cherry mixed with some 85% cocoa dark chocolate. The acid is indeed nicely balanced and only just barely becomes noticeable right at the end of the long finish.
I've been pretty pleased with the HTW tasting notes, though they were a wee bit off with this one to me, and to be fair 'big' and 'jammy' could be considered relative terms. It's actually rather refreshing to read honest tasting notes from a retailer, and though wine is subjective, sometimes I wonder what wine (or how many) they were tasting when they wrote them. I do hope Mr. Howland can keep that up.
A quality MV Shiraz this one, and good value. Tell ya what though, give this one about 2+ years for the fruit to back off a little and I reckon it could be special, which is pretty nice for a 'cleanskin'.
BTW it's 14.5%.