The D Block wines form part of the flagship series for Shingleback. Presented in weighty, imposing bottles they’ve been sealed under cork until the 2016 vintage, finally switching to screwcap. Over the years they’ve accumulated many many gold medals from the major Royal Australian Wine Shows (Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Queensland) and large international competitions.
If you’re lucky enough to be in Shingleback’s cellar club “The Pick,” every now and then you may find yourself with one of these wines included in your selection. And if you happen to have one of the below in your cellar colleciton already, this may give you some indication of how the wine is travelling.
Shingleback, D Block, Reserve, Shiraz, McLaren Vale, 2004
16 years old and only just starting to show signs of colour development around the rim. Plenty of primary blackberry, raspberry, plum, chocolate, cola and baking spice aromas with smoky just-fired shotgun cartridge and a graphite edge. Some toasted coconutty oak still lingers with maturity coming from a hint of meaty jus . The palate medium-full and retaining a pure, silky heart of dark fruit. Tannins are almost fully integrated with just a last gasp rasp at the finish. If you have one of these, I’d be inclined to enjoy sooner than latter.
Alc: 14.5% Rating: 18/20
Shingleback, D Block, Reserve, Shiraz, McLaren Vale, 2010
Retaining a purple edge to the deep garnet hearted hue. Concentrated, syrupy nose: blood plums, blackberry, warm chocolate, mocha, warm coffee grounds, smoky spice with exhausted “sparkler” minerally notes. Full bodied and bold. Dark fruits try and weave their way through the dominant drying, grippy tannins. The finish still feels somewhat closed, so give plenty of air. Will carry for another few years yet.
Alc: 14.5% Rating: 18.5/20
Shingleback, D Block, Reserve, Shiraz, McLaren Vale, 2011
Gold medal at Royal Adelaide Wine Show among other international accolades. Lovely deep garnet heart with that purple rim still showing life. Musky plum and blackberry juice over exotic spice and cedar with sweeter vanilla paste influences to the oak. Medium-full bodied. The suave palate sashays between a choc-mint character through to clean black and purple fruits. Still quite concetrated and rich with sappy, grippy tannins that are almost fully integrated. The wine retains a lightness that potentially reflects the vintage. In a lovely place for drinking right now.
Alc: 14.5% Rating: 18.75/20
Shingleback, D Block, Reserve, Shiraz, McLaren Vale, 2013
Opaque garnet from heart to rim. Hints of briny roast meats and dark earth over purple violets, baking spices, baked blackberries, coffee grounds, chocolate blocks and woody cedary oak. Dark, brooding and full bodied with tight grained tannins that manage to invade each part of the mouth. Like a bear woken from hibernation too soon, this is a serious player that could benefit from further slumber, but give it some air and enjoy the deeper shades.
Alc: 14.5% Rating: 19/20
Shingleback, D Block, Reserve, Shiraz, McLaren Vale, 2014
Imposing aromas: deep blackberry and violets with warm mocha/coffee grounds, woody clove spice and rich Belgian chocolate. Powerful and layered without being overblown. The oak well managed to provide a frame to house a medium to full bodied expression. Black fruits and savoury earthen elements all play their part alongside the star of fine tannin. An impressive wine, deserved of all kudos.
Alc: 14% Rating: 18.75/20
Shingleback, D Block, Reserve, Shiraz, McLaren Vale, 2016
Current available vintage. Screwcap. Gold at McLaren Vale, Royals Melbourne and Adelaide and with international glory from Canada and New Zealand. Attrractive, bright and lifted aromas with signature blackberry juice, purple plum halves with violet floral elements. There’s some warming baked “pain a chocolat,” spiced/soaked raisins, hints of clove, mocha notes and with youthful cedary oak that borders on blonde/vanilla. The palate full, yet approachable with fine grained tannin coralling the dark fruit into a tight, focused funnel. Persistence, length and depth. A fine example of McLaren Vale Shiraz and destined for a long life ahead.
Wine samples courtesy of Shingleback