Mysterious Vino: Morse Code!

I can’t lie: I bought Morse Code for its name and label.  Who wouldn’t!?  Some friends and I started the evening wine tasting at Ball Square Fine Wines!  It’s a weekly tasting,  pretty casual, and I’d totally suggest trying it out!  We tried a variety of wines and then I perused the shelves looking for something fun after that.  Don’t worry (I know you were…), I bought one from the tasting too, but that’ll be another post.

So, onto Morse Code Shiraz!

Let me be honest up front; I wasn’t that impressed by this wine.  But I love the story of the vineyard, so I’m using some author’s liberty to talk about that, but if that bores you, skip down to the tasting notes 😛


The Morse Code Shiraz hails from Australia.  Henry Drive’s Vignerons (the vineyard) takes its name from the proprietor Henry John Hill, the 19th century mail coach, which once ran through the Padthaway, Australia property. The vineyard describes the Morse Code collection this way: “In this digital world, we remember the craft of the postal telegraphists. For decades their Morse signals, dexterously delivered across Australia’s great telegraph line, connected us with the world and helped to save countless lives. We honour the Morse Codian Fraternity with this collection of fine wines.”  Cool right?!?!  Or perhaps, I’m just a dork.  I think it’s an interesting tribute to the region’s history; just imagine text messages but coded in binary!

The area, located on the Limestone Coast in South Australia, has six wine regions known for the rich, red, loamy soil.   In case you’re wondering (don’t kid yourself, you were DYING to know!) — loam soils are gritty, moist, and retain water easily with a  high infiltration rate and thus generally contain more nutrients than sandy or clay soils. So I realize that photo of the Limestone Coast is completely superfluous… but 1) I miss sun and warmth and 2) it’s a legitimately great photo of Limestone for which this part of Australia is known!

Wine Basics

Blend profile: 100% Shiraz
Alcohol/Volume: 14.7%
Oak profile: A small proportion of the wine finished ferment in barrel, but the majority was unoaked to allow the fruit to shine.
Terroir: The fruit for this wine was sourced from the Estate’s Padthaway vineyards. The vines are in various types of soil, including red loam, black loam and deep sand over limestone.
Season: Rain-heavy winter season and a long season of summer sun, which all work in combo to produce well structured grapes.

Tasting Notes

Nose: Really strong aroma of blackberry, cherry and then some dark molasses, hints of mint and a little black pepper.

Taste: Bottled up fruit- that’s the best way to describe it.  The thickness is noticeable- almost like you’re tasting a combination of molasses and licorice that thins out to blackberry and cherry.  I think the taste would be improved with an herbal or floral balance; for example, some reds are blended with a white Viognier grape, which I think would have added balance, lightness, and a fuller, longer taste.  Instead, this strong fruit, thick wine falls off dramatically before the wine is really able to “finish” on your palette.  I think part of why the wine tasted so sweet is because of the oaking process!  MOST of this wine was un-oaked- which means the fruit flavor powered the wine, rather than flavor or texture of the oakand as I’ve said before- I think that wood, earthy taste helps balance the fruitiness of some reds.  Mmmm wood.

Texture: Super thick- but not  in a great way.  It felt so tight, not very breathable.  *See update below

Balance: As I mentioned, I don’t think this had great balance.  It wasn’t noticeably bad, just very mediocre.  The wine has a bold opening, but almost no finish.  *See update below

One day later… It’s worth mentioning that a friend and I finished this bottle the next day.  Having been open a day, the wine had opened up a little, and the flavor lasted longer.  The balance was smoother throughout the whole taste and the texture was a little lighter, which made it more fun to drink.

JuliaUncorked says: 6/10.  The bottle was pretty inexpensive- $10!  That does not mean you should go out of your way to purchase it though.  I think you can find better Shiraz’s.  However! If you do end up with a bottle, seriously let it breathe for a while before drinking! It DOES get better with a little O2.

2 Responses to “Mysterious Vino: Morse Code!”

  1. Hi Julie
    I thought I would drop you a line – It is unfortunate to hear you didnt enjoy the Morse Code Shiraz however I thankyou for sharing our story with your friends. We have a unique regional tie in with our brand and I am glad to hear it resonated with you.
    Perhpas you will try some of the other wines in our range and prefer them – take it as a challenge, and I look forward to hearing what you think.
    Kind Regards, Karen

  2. Hi Karen! I am very interested in trying other wines from the vineyard. I do like its history very much! Do you have any suggestions in particular for me? I’d be more than happy to do another review!

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