For me, the most exciting wines are often those with rough edges and a lot of character. This includes Chateau Tahbilk’s “1860 Vines” Shiraz from the Nagambie Lakes sub-region of the Goulburn Valley, which is about 120 km north of Melbourne.
For me, this Australian transcends the categories “Old and New World”. It is from a 0.5 ha ungrafted, pre-phylloxera vineyard that dates back to the winery’s founding in 1860. The winemaking team ferments this icon in century-old oak vats. They mature it in large old oak barrels and then store it for another four years before release.
This time I had the 1994 vintage in my glass – indeed not the greatest of its kind and only just within the end of its drinking window. But also very unique and fascinating – a beauty of its own kind. Garnet-coloured in the glass, fresh in acidity with just 12.5 % alcohol. Savoury aromas of warm earth, meat, mushrooms, oriental spices. Fine, silky tannins with a medium finish but a tremendous and seamless flow.
The name Tahbilk Winery originates from the term tabilk-tabilk, ‘place of many waterholes’ in the language of the Daung-wurrung, the first people who called this place their home.