Peter Jorgensen showcases the master blender’s art with his Limited Release Vat series wines. This Vat 311 Shiraz is a powerful statement of how subtle differences in blend (compared to Vat 310) can have dramatic outcomes on flavour and experience. Not only is the proportion of McLaren Vale different, the fruit from Barossa is sourced from different vineyards.
The appearance is similar to Vat 310 in depth and colour. It’s inky black with indigo, violet and crimson around the rim but higher in alcohol leaving long sticky legs on the glass.
The bouquet is very intense with more medicinal characters of iodine and eucalypt. It’s less earthy with more licorice and aniseed spice. The high alcohol gives a vanilla sweetness to the oak which is more fruitcake than savoury in nature.
Barossa grapes from the valley floor areas of Tanunda and Ebenezer add a ripe jammy richness and warmth to the opening palate. The McLaren Vale earthiness is consistent but less obvious with the middle palate being more rounded and luscious. Aniseed spice is slightly subdued with a rich dark chocolate character lingering on the aftertaste.
Strongly flavoured meat dishes with rich gravies and sauces are the key for this wine. The type of sauce that takes a chef days to reduce made from heirloom stock recipes has complex flavours and richness. Matching them with wines of this intensity makes for a powerful combination.
With the benefit of screw cap closure and a cool stable environment this wine will cellar for over 8 years. It will gain complexity over time and develop a mild crust. Breathing for 30 minutes or more before pouring is recommended and decanting is advised as the wine ages.