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Chris Ringland: Evil Incarnate, FU, The Wine

September 13, 2016

I’m usually wary of dinners that comprise entirely of Australian shiraz but when Bob Rees of Wine Exchange Asia (not to be confused with WEA Fine Wines) proposed a Chris Ringland dinner at Table At Seven on 18 Aug 2016, I almost jumped at it. I first heard of Chris Ringland at the turn of the millennium when I became interested in Rockford, for Chris had worked there, going on eventually to developed his cult “Three Rivers Shiraz”. The wines of Chris Ringland are difficult to obtain, there is no cellar door in the Barossa but they are reputed to be exceptionally refined and sophisticated and, indeed, my experience on this occasion confirms that, for these wines are utterly cultured with a quiet intensity in spite of their seemingly outsized proportions. It was good as well to see Karl and Eugenia still going strong and doing very well at their restaurant, and their unique combination of Indonesian-inspired-cum-European cuisine went well with the wines. Bob, as usual, is always generous with the pours at these dinners and we began with the Laurent Perrier Brut NV, very attractive with a forward balance of clear citrus and pomelo, dryish and crisp with very good concentration and biting intensity on the palate though its flavours fall within a narrow spectrum.


2005 Chris Ringland Evil Incarnate. Dense with notes of dark and red plums, liquorice and kumquat amidst a strong alcoholic streak on the nose, though surprisingly creamy smooth and rounded on the palate with ripe tangerine at its core, more forward over time with great concentration and purity, displaying  good linearity and sophistication but a tad short, finishing on a subdued spicy tone without any alcohol trail.

2006 Chris Ringland Evil Incarnate, served from magnum. Compared with the preceding wine, the 2006 is more forward with plummy tones, black currants and sweet dark fruits, open, even and harmonious with excellent depth and balance, rounded with controlled  tannins. Needs further cellaring but the potential is huge.


2008 Chris Ringland Evil Incarnate, served from magnum. Rich bouquet of dark plums and sweet black fruits, big and full, coating the palate with a creamy smoothness and overtones of enamel, yet poised, elegant and rounded, displaying good handling of oak and tannins, finishing in a gentle spicy trail. This is a magnificent shiraz, combining power and sophistication with great harmony.

2006 Chris Ringland FU. Quiet and slightly reticent, exuding sweet mocha and dark chocolate arising from an immense breadth and depth of dark plums and red currants, displaying great integration, layering, focus and definition, highly refined and exciting. Superb.


2005 Chris Ringland The Wine. Dense with a great abundance of red plums and red currants, oozing with sweet tannins but the alcohol content is far too massive at 17% (yessir!), obscuring detail on the palate that lacked layering and real complexity.

2006 Chris Ringland The Wine, served from magnum. More massive than the 2005, dominated by a rich plummy tone with a prominent alcoholic note, rounded and well-integrated with a quiet intensity and sophistication, layered with dark fruits and forest floor characters but still unresolved, though it has the potential to evolve very well.



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