Interestingly this wine wouldn't exist if Brokenwood had its way... its way with the weather that is! You see this release really should be the 2010 'Graveyard' Shiraz, the flagship wine from this Hunter Valley producer that is one of only 17 wines to be given the highest possible classification of 'Exceptional' by Langton's Fine Wines. However, a storm in 2010 damaged the fruit in the Graveyard vineyard, yet left nearby vineyards virtually untouched!
The solution was to take what fruit was salvagable and include 50% McLaren Vale Shiraz from one of Brokenwood's long standing growers in that region. This results in the Quail Shiraz, which was first released in 1994.
The 2010 Quail Shiraz has a great colour that is an almost perfect mix of classic red and purple hues associated with great wines. It has a really lovely and rather complex aroma as I picked up hints of everything from fruit, oak, spices, vanilla and floral notes. Sounds like BS I know but there really was a bit of everything in there with no element overshadowing another. The aroma alone showed this was a high quality wine with plenty of potential.
To talk at length about how this wine is drinking now is probably not doing the wine, or yourself any great favours. Don't get me wrong, it is a perfectly decent drop as it is now, but it does come off tasting a little young and it reminds me of the first time I tried Penfolds 2005 St Henri, which was within months of its release. I knew I was drinking a really well made wine but that it really needed time to reach its full potential.
So do yourself and your cellar a favour and grab a bottle or as many as one desires and put it away for at the very least 5 years before opening and ideally I'd think 8-10 years would be better. If you do insist on trying it now then pair it with something meaty and fatty. A Wagyu steak would do the trick as would confit of duck!
One thing this wine does highlight for me is that blending of a single variety from multiple locations shouldn't be seen as a lesser wine than one that is 100% from the same vineyard.
Brokenwood 2010 Quail Shiraz
Price - $95 from cellar door and SVC club only
Region - 50% Hunter Valley, 50% McLaren Vale
Final Sip - My tip is to try it at the cellar door so that you can say you've tried it, then purchase and put it away for celebrating NYE 2020! I'm also strongly tipping that this wine will easily make the cut for a HBA release, which is Brokenwood's release at 10 years of age.