In amongst a box of wines I received recently was a bottle of 2005 Mount Panorama Bathurst Shiraz. What makes this such an intriguing wine is that the grapes are grown on the side of Mount Panorama in Bathurst NSW, a couple of hours drive west of Sydney. For those of you from outside of Australia, Mount Panorama hosts Australia’s biggest motor racing event, The Bathurst 1000. This is a 1000km 161 lap race up and around the mountain that showcases Australia’s own V8 Supercars.
I knew that vineyards had been popping up around the race track for some time, Brokenwood have one up there, and I had heard that there was a winery up on the mountain somewhere midway along Mountain Straight, but hadn’t really thought much about it so receiving this wine in my batch was quite intriguing. It can get quite cold up on that mountain. I’ve stayed up there watching the race in light snow and this is in mid spring! So was this Shiraz going to have the subtle medium to light body of a cool climate Shiraz?
My wife and I felt like some wine with cheese. Usually we’d go a white wine but it was a cool evening that called for red. So I took a gamble that the 2005 Mt Panorama Shiraz would be light enough not to clash with the cheeses.
Looking at the label I couldn’t help but get the impression that it was just a little kitsch using a stylised V8 supercar to play off the great race. My impression when I see this type of thing is similar to the critter labels many of our exported wines get dumped on them… gimmicky! But I was so glad I wasn’t expecting much (this impression was unfair, not with the positive spirit of our blog, and rather wine wanker of me… see below).
I turned the cap on it and sniffed away. Mmmmmm, I could smell light cherry and peppery spice aromas along with a little mustiness from age. I knew straight away though that this may just well go with the cheeses as it was quite a light scent.
Took a sip… Ahhhhh, nice and medium-light! Lots of iddy biddy fruit flavours that didn’t last all that long in the mouth but long enough to enjoy and savour the light peppery spice towards the end of the sip. It was actually quite a well-balanced wine and my wife really enjoyed it as we sipped between nibbling on our cheese and crackers.
And absolutely no burnt rubber in the wine at all (possibly a let down)!
We saved some for the following night and decided to cook up a Thai green curry using some of the veggies from out of my own patch, including baby roma tomatoes, zucchini, butter beans, sugar snaps, green capsicum and yellow peppers. I’m actually a keen veggie gardener and am making the most of my big suburban backyard after nearly 10 years in a city apartment (see me below a few weeks ago having a beer by my young plot). I had a feeling this red wine would actually go well with this spicy dish and, of course, I was right! Very enjoyable the second night and it had opened up to express itself even more.
This 2005 Mount Panorama Shiraz probably would have been better a couple of years ago but it was still a decent and enjoyable wine at this older age. It’s a pity I only had one of these. I’ll definitely source some later vintages to have a good go at.
I’ve actually have now taken to the label design. And of the wine itself, Peter Brock would be proud, rest his soul…
Although this footage is of an F1 car doing the circuit you get a good glimpse of the vineyard at about 24 seconds in…