These are special occasion wines, even for us. The limited quantities of 'The Kester' Shiraz mean that particularly from the early vintages, we save it for the special occasion to pull the cork and discover what kind of development the wine has seen. The start of January isn't just the turn of the year for the Tulloch family, it's also Harry Tulloch's birthday! Saturday was his 81st so we made sure to ring it in with some real panache.
While we were at it Keith took the opportunity to write a few notes, for those patient enough to keep either (or both) of these cellared at home:
"It was a great opportunity to pull out some grand wines from the cellar at home. After some Champagne and White Burgundy, we pulled the corks on a Kester 1998 and Kester 2003.
The Kester 1998 was as close to perfect as I have ever seen it, straight out of the bottle without decanting. Even after 17 years this wine shows beautifully fresh, densely-packed, black fruits. The palate is rich and velvety, with sublime black berry / black spice / black choc softness.It’s been a delight watching this wine grow and develop through the years, and now it’s close to its peak.
It has a few years of potential to go, but if you have this in your cellar I’d urge you to pull the cork and let it seduce you.
2003 was another great Vintage year in the Hunter, so the comparison with 1998 made for a really good study. And we were thirsty….so we didn’t decant the 2003 either.
Being 5 years younger, the 2003 is beginning to develop the same voluptuous softness and beautiful charm of the 1998. It’s following the same path, and has all of the richness and depth to get there too. It has the same core of dense black fruits, and the black spice / chocolate velvet mouthfeel is evolving nicely.
Yes there is more cellaring potential with the 2003, but if you have some, try a bottle and let it develop in a decanter for an hour."