Wow, this is one bright purple wine, it almost looks like Ribena. The nose offers up gorgeous aromas of black cherry, blackberry, a hint of oak and some figs. On the palate it is very smooth with blackberry notes, a sour cherry kicker, some tobacco and smoke. The wine reminds me of Lapsang Souchong tea- smoky and earthy yet somehow mild and alluring. An acquired taste for sure. The wine have very integrated tannins and relatively low acidity. I would drink now till 2020 and pair with lighter fare. It begs for Moussaka, roast chicken or even a thick Reuben sandwich. 90 points and 4 stars for this $22 effort. Salut….
After trying the Jacob’s Creek Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon I had to line up their Shiraz and make some comparisons. This Shiraz displays nicely in the glass with medium opacity, purple hues and a definite show of legs. The nose is somewhat muted even after a few big swirls. I finally coax blackberries and eucalyptus out of it. On the palate I get black fruits with a dose of greeness that is very prominent. There is a touch of cedar as the wine transitions to the mid palate. I sense very fine grained tannins approaching along with a dark cherry note. The black fruits continue on the finish but the tannins overwhelm them in the end. The wine has a strong acidity that I can sense on my teeth. The green notes I talked of earlier reappear on the finish. It’s almost like the fruit included some unripe clusters that have given this wine a certain sourness along with the over abundant acidity. 85 points from me and 2 stars for this $12 effort. Salut….
I splurged, $25 a bottle for Jacobs Creek. It’s not just any JC though. In the glass it is dark, brooding and enticing. Rich, ripe plums on the nose with port wine accent. It smells the business. On the palate, it is super smooth and exhibits rich blackberries, plum extract, caramel, vanilla and a nice toast. The midpalate transition is seamless and the wine continues on to a very long finish. I’m astounded at the depth and purity of this wine. The balance is good but there are barely detectable tannins to go up against the slight acidity. That’s what gives this wine a great mouthfeel, yet detracts from its cellaring potential. It is the style of wine that I would use to introduce a novice red-wine drinker to. Easy on the tannins, the dryness and the acidity. This wine drinks beautifully now and will run well for another 5 years, till 2022. I would serve it with a rich stew, grilled lamb chops or perhaps a very well seasoned Cornish Hen. I’m going 91 points and 4 stars. Salut….
This blend is really dark purple. Made up of 60% Petit Verdot, 20% each of Cab Sav and Shiraz. The nose is bursting with currants, juniper, a touch of oak and black cherry. The palate is very interesting and tasty. The Petit Verdot punches through with violets, dark cherry and leather. Tannins are persistent but not overpowering, they leave the gums slightly dry but give the wine a freshness. The mid palate gives me mocha as well as more dark cherries. The finish reveals a vanilla note as well as some wood. The winemaker has done a superb job of balancing the acidity, tannins and the 14% alcohol- which is not noticeable. The mouthfeel is what I would describe as wholesome yet fresh. It is relatively smooth with great potential to mellow out and possibly develop tertiary flavor. 90 points from me, drink till 2025 and pair it with lamb chops and garlic mash. 5 stars because this wine rocks and it runs a mere $9 (But I found it for $6.09 in NJ, you people should be running to that store). Salut….
I drank the 2011 Parson’s Nose a while back, enjoying it so much that I saw this vintage and had to try it. It is inky black in the glass. It smells of coffee, anise and plums. It tastes of black berries, anise and espresso. The coffee flavors are really hitting me today. The wine has a great mouthfeel, very smooth, inviting and it hides the 14.5% alcohol very deftly. The mid palate has more berries, but now more on the blue side, with ever so slight tannins making an entrance. They build into the finish and leave me with a nice dryness on the gums, not too much. The whole package is really tasty, not over-extracted like so many Aussie Shiraz’s can be. I paid $18 for it but it looks to be on sale for under $14 online. Folks- this is a 91 point wine in my books and for that price, they may not have much left after I get done. 5 stars. Salut….
Very brooding and dark purple in the glass- promising some heady, extracted juice. The nose is full on dark plums, blackberries and cedar plank. The initial palate is straight up blueberry pie meets blackberry jam. Very viscous in the mouthfeel and very smooth. The wine glides past the mid palate with hints of plum ganache and mocha and a touch of acidity. I had to wait until the finish to get a glimmer of the fine grained tannins that hold this package together. I believe this wine is drinking great now and has a few years of cellaring available, say till 2022. I would pair it with Strip steaks, perhaps a peppercorn sauce based meat or even corned beef. The acidity and tannic structure seem ideal for casual drinking and lighter fare, not something too heavy or fatty. It really is tasty. 90 points. I paid $15 and would do it again for this 4 star effort. Salut…
One of my favorite Aussie Shiraz is the bigger brother to this wine, but I have not been able to find the McRae Wood anywhere. The Lodge Hill is their entry level Shiraz, the McRae Wood being the $50 effort while their top cuvee is the Armagh, priced around $250.
This one looks decent in the glass, a good solid purple that is ever so see-through. The nose is plum, cedar shavings and Ribena. On the palate is where this wine shines. Not overly extracted or jammy, it offers more plums, dark cherry and herbs. The mid palate continues the theme and ramps up the tannins which are in full force by the time the finish rolls around. The tannic component is very smooth, yet gripping. They leave my upper gums thoroughly dry for a short period. This is a decent wine that is not jammy yet offers lots of flavor. I am serving it with some roast beef, it would pair beautifully with Shish Kebabs and Basmati rice. 89 points from me make this $18 offering a 3 star wine. Salut…..
It was Moxie’s 50th birthday last week so we have been celebrating all month. Her mother took us out for a really nice dinner last night. The very first wine listed was the Schild Shiraz 2014. It was priced right at $30, which is not even double retail, so I took the plunge and ordered it even though the mother-in-law was footing the bill. I just had to try it. You see, I have been chasing this elusive wine for a few years now. Back in 2010 I read a stunning review of their ’08 Shiraz, it got 94 points from WS. I was dying to try it. I then read another, more damning article a year later that put me off- they had ‘made more’ when they ran low. I was stunned and saddened. Yep, read it here. http://www.winespectator.com/webfeature/show/id/44637
Anyway, I am over it now and the mere sighting of this wine was my nod to go for it. If you look at their earlier vintages, there were a string of 92-94 point years, followed by a slight decline. This wine unfortunately was not in that realm of quality.
Dark purple hues. Nose of black berries, leather and earth. On the palate I get more dark berries, some coffee, chocolate dust and a touch of oak. The mid palate has more dark fruits and a sinewy set of tannins. The finish is quite long and dry with the tannins really kicking in. There is an austerity I cannot put my finger on which detracts from an otherwise very pleasant wine. I drank it with braised Lamb Shank. 89 points and 3 stars for this $16 (retail) effort. In hindsight, I am glad I came across this wine and look forward to future vintages that perhaps will reinstate it to a level it is capable of. Salut….
I’m a huge fan of this winery and am working my way through their offerings and revisiting some that I have had a chance to cellar. I keep a stash of wines in my locker at ‘work’. Those of you that know me will realize that my locker is half way around the world from home, but I have some gems in there that have been sitting patiently in near perfect conditions- 60 F, humid and dark. I met up with a mate from downunda, whom we shall call Mr. Rangley and I pulled this one out for a tasting. The last time I drank the 2011 Blue Eyed Boy it was delicious so I was really looking forward to it.
Blueberry nose with plum ganache- delicious. On the palate is a thick, long blueberry note with dark chocolate and graphite. The mid palate involves a full blown explosion of more blue fruits, vanilla bean and rolling tannins. I detect some heat which makes sense as this one packs 16% alcohol. The finish is long and full of blueberry pie, 92 points all day long. I did not notice too much evolution over the past three years which is interesting. I’m not sure where this wine is going over its life span but it is built for the long haul and may yet develop nuances of age and secondary flavors. If it doesn’t that is fine too – a unique tasting Shiraz that is well made and a treat. 5 stars at $40. Drink all by itself for the ultimate experience of this wine but if you must pair it- Filet Mignon with Bearnaise sauce and some asparagus will do the trick. Salut….