It really interesting for me to taste wines from Australia that are approaching the 8-10 year stage in their maturity. You sometimes wonder if these wines can stand the test of time and age with grace into something more interesting and complex. "The Gate" is made by John Davey who is most famous for his Shingleback wines. He says: "my aim is to use premium fruit from our family vineyard to produce rich complex wines with the ripeness of McLaren Vale wines".
What I was immediately interested in when opening this bottling was the color. Would it be deep and purple or would it have the look of an 8 year old wine? Well, the answer is this wine has a deep ruby red core and is slightly fading towards the edges of the glass into soft pinkish tinged red. It's definitely showing it's age in terms of color but is still holding on to it's deep color in the center of the glass.
On the nose the wine also shows classic aromas of plum, tobacco, stewed cherry, and hints of raisin, marinara, and molasses. It's got an amazing rusticity to the bouquet which is no doubt brought forward by the time it has spent aging in bottle. When the wine opens up a bit in the glass some of the creamy oak aromas start to come to the forefront and without even looking at the winery website I immediately assumed the wine was aged at least partially in American oak. It's just this coconut-vanilla type thing that always tips me off!!
On the palate this wine is rich and opulent and shines with tart black cherry flavors, cranberry, hints of leather, and unsweetened coco powder. The tannins are well integrated as one would expect and the oak spice that I imagine was once very prevalent in the wine is now in harmony with the fruit.
Overall I'm quite impressed with how this wine is performing and seeing that I got a really good deal on it at the market ($20 - normally $40) I'd say it's quite a value. 90+ points
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