2019 O'Leary Walker Polish Hill River Armagh Shiraz
An excellent follow up release to the highly regarded 2018 vintage. Fruit was sourced from two vineyards, one located in the cooler sub region of Polish Hill River and the other from the warmer Armagh district. Maturation took place in French oak, 25% new, for a period of 2 years.
Rich and concentrated with classic Clare Valley structure.
Impenetrable inky black in colour with a very deep dark red black hue. Sailing out of the glass are ripe blackberry, liquorice and black cherry aromas which morph into vanillin cedar, hints of earthy fennel and pepper. The low yielding 2019 vintage has resulted in a wine that’s both rich and concentrated, the palate densely packed with opulent blackberry, liquorice and dark plum fruits. Lying underneath are subtlety smoked vanillin cedar, fennel, black olive and blackpepper characters. Shows superb power and drive without being over weight, the tannin structure velvety yet firmly built. The long finish bestowed with a mix of succulent blue and black fruits.
Drink over the next 6-8 years
This comes from the subregions of Armagh and Polish Hill River. There is a lot happening in this powerhouse Clare Valley red. Dark fruits with a coffee-grinds mocha thing happening with the blackberry fruitness. The tannins are dry and slightly chalky, while the oak has been liberally applied to harmonise with the deep fruit intensity. Finishes with a dry savouriness.
Ray Jordan – The West Australian
Really vibrant, youthful and purple in the glass. Aromas are all deep and dark, black fruits, spice, a hint of vanilla and eucalyptus. Full and rich on the palate, lashings of plum and mulberry, there's a minty lift and the tannins are grippy and granular and give lovely structure and mouth-feel. A deliciously youthful wine now with plenty on show, but time will really let this gear show its straps.
Aaron Brasher – The Real Review
Fruit is sourced from 2 vineyards in Clare: Armagh in the north, and Polish Hill River. Wild ferment, some whole bunches, matured in French oak (25% new) for 2 years. 'Two years in oak' initially elicits an inward groan – it's a long time. However, the fruit is clearly up to the task here, swallowing it up. Licorice, steel shavings and aniseed colour in the gaps of the generously peppered fruit. Dark, dense and intense, with a mineral core that balances the Christmas flavours of fig, quince and nutmeg. Drink by 2031.
Erin Larkin - James Halliday's Australian Wine Companion