At various points along the way, I have come across many exemplary wines from South Australia made in the 2011 vintage. It is true that even more have been disappointing, reflecting the seemingly unending rain. The regions south of Adelaide fared far better than those north of Adelaide, McLaren Vale already contributed a number of those exceptions. But I came across the 2011 Salomon Estate Finniss River Shiraz (from the Southern Fleurieu Peninsula) and it absolutely starred. How come? Well, the grapes were not harvested until the end of April, well after the impact of the heaviest rains in March had dissipated.
In addition, obvious diligence in the vineyard, and equally obvious skill in the winery, came together to produce a beautiful wine. The utterly exceptional colour for ‘11 signals the arrival of the best shiraz from South Australia I have encountered; because the harvest could be delayed until the third week of April, the impact of the March rainfall was minimised, and the wine has all the hallmarks of a cool vintage with a spicy lift to the perfectly balanced marriage of black cherry and red fruit; the tannins, too, are perfect.
96 points, drink to 2025, 14.5% alc; cork; $40