Fine wine merchant Phil Hude is big on education.

The 2019 Mount Ophir Estate Shiraz represents the historic Rutherglen property's first vintage since siblings Angela, Eliza and Nick Brown (of Rutherglen’s All Saints Estate and St Leonards Vineyard) purchased the 1891-established Mount Ophir property in 2016.

In spite of the estate’s history, which by 1903 was planted to 280 hectares of shiraz, durif and muscat, the shiraz used for this latest release was crafted from low-yielding vines planted in the mid-1990s, which comprise just half a hectare.

The wine is unquestionably a great modern expression of Rutherglen shiraz: medium-bodied, fragrant and decidedly complex, it showcases aromas of violets, sour cherries, dark chocolate, blackberries and plums. The palate is fresh, silky and vibrant, with iodine, raspberry bullets, mocha and fine-grained, black tea-like tannins. It’s drinking very well now but will easily hold up and gain further complexity over the next eight to ten years.

Nick Brown.

The question is: is the $500 price tag worth it? In Australia, we seem to have placed high value on the most full-bodied, unapproachable-when-young expressions of shiraz – something the 2019 Mount Ophir Estate Shiraz is not. If elegant, mid-weight, fleshy and highly drinkable yet structured red wines are your thing – here’s your Grange.

Only around 700 bottles were produced. Visit mountophirestate.com.au for more info.