Sometimes, all it takes is a little tenderness; a delicate touch in the winery. By all measure this is a big wine; a powerful McLaren Vale red that's released in a heavy bottle, is presented under cork and decorated with wine show bling. So far, so old fashioned. But winemaker John Davey has not gone the blockbuster route. While this is by no means shy and retiring and carries 14.5% alcohol, it is also beautifully balanced, out-shining a couple of regional rivals at more than twice the price. Named for the Davey Block of the Davey Estate vineyard, these wines are John Davey's personal expression of the McLaren Vale and showcase the best shiraz and cabernet sauvignon that the region is capable of producing. They are true reserve wines, only made in exceptional vintages and designed for the long haul. Thankfully, this also has just a little delicacy that makes it stand out from the crowd. It's medium- to full-bodied with bright blackcurrant fruit, artisan chocolate and earthy notes; voluptuous, long and soft. I liked it a lot. $60. www.shingleback.com.au.