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wine of the week 03/05/2009

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   Skillogalee (Australia) Basket Pressed Shiraz 2005
Skillogalee is owned by British couple Dave and Diana Palmer, and their Clare Valley winery is one of the region's very best. The fruit, from vines planted in the early 1970s, is vinified traditionally using open fermenters and basket pressing. This Syrah, matured for 24 months in a combination of French and American oak hogsheads, has an alluring nose, where a curranty, rich darkness marries with a bold, juicy black cherry core, and complex, peppery notes of spices, leather and tobacco are layered beneath. On the palate the broadly-painted canvas is daubed with thick, sweet fruit, but that core - a spine - of acidity, firm tannins and complex oak lingers into a long, sweetly-tuned finish. A bit above our normal price range for WoTW, but this glorious stuff is definitely worth the splurge. Around £13.00, Booths, The Fine Wine Co, Nidderdale Fine Wines, Hic Wines.