jamie goode's wine blog: Elegant Shiraz from Victoria

Friday, September 19, 2008

Elegant Shiraz from Victoria

On Tuesday afternoon I had some time to spare in central London, so I went visiting wine shops. One was Philglas & Swiggot, round the back of Selfridges. The wonderfully named Philglas also has a branch in Richmond, and the original shop in Clapham/Battersea, but this was the first time I'd been to their Marylebone store. Mike Rogers, the owner, was there, so I had a good chat with him and browsed the shelves. They've got a fantastic, hand-picked selection that's particularly strong in Australia and Italy. Mike admits that if he had to chose between France and Italy, it's the former that would get the boot.

A shop like this is wine geek heaven. You want to learn about wine? Find a shop like this, staffed by smart people who know wine. Use their recommendations and develop a relationship. Forget that wine-searcher shows that somewhere else has the same wine a pound cheaper - it's a false economy. [I'm not suggesting that Philglas are expensive; just that a shop like this won't always be the cheapest because of the overheads, and also the higher cost of hiring smart staff and buying geeky high-end wines.]

I bought just one bottle, but I'd liked to have walked out with a case. It was an Aussie Shiraz that Mike and his wife Karen have developed in conjunction with genius winemaker Mac Forbes. Now I'm not buying much Aussie wine at the moment, but I know Mac and the sort of style he likes, and I know that Mike and Karen understand Aussie wine really well, so it's worth a punt, I reckon to myself. And this is actually a really good wine, although it will be better in two or three years.

Rogers & Pietersen Mullens Vineyard Shiraz 2006 Moonambel, Victoria, Australia
At just 13% alcohol, this is an elegant, bright expression of Aussie Shiraz. It shows a nose of sweet, spicy blackberry and raspberry fruit that's well defined and a bit tight at the moment. The palate has good acidity and some tannic grip, with fresh, focused fruit and a sense of the flavour being hemmed in a bit, waiting to come out. There's some Rhone like meaty, spiciness that adds complexity, and I reckon that in three years this wine will have opened out beautifully and will just be singing. A serious effort, but don't drink it just yet. 91/100 (16.99 Philglas & Swiggot)

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At 12:47 PM, Anonymous Keith Prothero said...

Mike used to be in charge of the Richmond shop and it always was great fun picking his brains,especially on Aussie wine.
The Richmond shop is never busy when I pop in but I assume well off customers do pick up a bottle or two on their way home from the station up Richmond Hill.
Although I do like to support such merchants I have to admit that I buy most of my wine at auction or on the internet and I often wonder with the high rents how they make a sustainable profit.

At 9:13 PM, Blogger Vinogirl said...

Love a good wine shop...I'm partial to 'Corks Out' in Chester. Here in the Napa Valley, if you don't have a good selection, you should be in jail.


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