I have had a few of the Two Hands wines and enjoyed them so when I came across this slightly aged bottle I had to try. It’s Lamb Chops tonight so an Aussie Shiraz is appropriate. This one is deep ruby, ie nearly fully opaque. The nose is of medium intensity and has aromas of plums, blackberry, rich baking spice, cedar and eucalyptus but no telltale pepper note. The palate is dry with really juicy acidity, medium (+) tannins and medium (+) body. There is some heat from the high alcohol that caught me off-guard. The flavors are medium (+) intense and consist of black plums, blackberry, cedar, eucalyptus and a jammy component. The finish is quite long, the wine is nicely balanced and complex. It has good mouthfeel even though there is a slight, lingering burn on the back end. I like it and think it will drink well for some time- till 2029. Pairing it with meat is obvious. 92 points from me and for $35 it’s a steal worthy of 5 stars. Salut….
I’ve been a fan of this winery for many years. In fact I have written about several wines from them and each one got a glowing review. I just realized that this bottling is named after the founder’s daughter who is but 3 days older than my youngest son, Jet. This vintage runs a little less ABV than previous, 14.2%. In the glass it is deep purple and showing youth rather than maturity. The nose is very pronounced with aromas of blackberry, blackcurrant and white pepper. There’s oak for sure, it’s just seamless and presents itself in vanilla and perhaps some chocolate notes. As I swirl the flavor profile shifts towards blue fruit- think blueberry and plum. There is a sweetness to this wine that might manifest into a jammy component on the palate- let’s see.
On the initial attack I get blueberry cobbler, vanilla, grippy tannins, juicy acidity and ever so slight jamminess. It’s not overly thick like some Aussie Shirtaz-bombs can be, more subtle. I get a distinct smoky note which is actually not playing well into my aspirations, it’s a bit disjointed. The mid palate is quite dry and the finish is definitely where the tannins are showing up. It’s quite a long affair with plenty of fruit flavors, but the grip is very present. I like it. This wine will pair well with my char-grilled strip steak and Chorizo sausages. I think it drinks nicely now and will continue to evolve and get better with time. Cellar or drink till 2028 for this 91 point wine that gets 4 stars for it’s $55 entry fee. Salut….
For the finale at our Virtual Wine tasting #20 I selected an oldie but goodie. It’s been a few years since I drank any Mollydooker wines. They are a treat but buyer beware- they pack a punch. It all starts with the obligatory Mollydooker Shake, which is an important part of tasting this wine correctly. I had all the participants open the screw cap and pour off a half cup of wine into another wine glass. After re-sealing the bottle we shook vigorously to help release the Nitrogen that these wines are bottled under. Once done I had them pour regular glasses and we compared the smell of the original wine versus the shaken version- a stunning difference in aroma.
The wine is bright purple, opaque and menacing in the glass once you read the label and realize it has 16% ABV. On the nose it is jammy with blackberry, raisin, plum, pepper, coffee, black tea and vanilla. Our group got flavors of coffee, blackberry jam, cinnamon, and someone mentioned ‘grape’. Lithe tannins and medium (-) acidity make for an easy mouthfeel once you clear the alcohol hurdle. A decent finish was enjoyed as I reflected on the length and depth of fruit flavor coming out of this bottle. The body is most def full, the grapes being extracted to the max. This is not a lightweight. I am a little stumped as to what I would pair it with- the richness will overpower most foods- oh well…drink it all by itself. 91 points from me make this $30 wine a 5 star effort that needs to be on your short list. Drink till 2028. Salut….
I was reading about Biodynamic farming today in my wine course so naturally I was tempted to try one. This particular wine is an Aussie Shiraz from McLaren Vale that runs 14.5% ABV, typical. They like to wring the heck out of the juice downunda. It shows in the glass- deep purple with big tears. The nose has rich plum, bakers spice, blackcurrant and a whiff of the heat. On the palate it reverberates the dark fruit theme with spiciness alongside chocolate powder hints. It is opulent yet not overly jammy, as can be the case too often in Shiraz. The mouthfeel is very round and warm, the alcohol noticeable on the mid-palate. There are some lithe tannins and a modicum of acidity – very balanced in my opinion, even if on a smaller scale. The finish is short to medium and certainly fruit forward, it’s nice. This wine will drink nicely till 2026 and pair well with roasted meats. 89 points from me and at $18 per bottle, its gets 3 stars. Salut….
Inky AF and fully opaque, a very rich purple in the glass with thick legs belying the 14.2% kick. Rich, layered notes of red currants, very ripe cherry, cigar box, blueberry ganache and blackberry. The palate is full bodied, showing medium tannins and juicy acidity. The red and blue fruit flavors are complemented by the cedar and I also get some menthol. There is a hint of Brazilian roasted coffee bean to boot. There is another, indescribable note I’m having a tough time pinpointing that I’m enamored with. The tannic structure is very good, integrated yet still fresh it coats my gums but is not too dry. The finish is of good length with a nice mouthfeel. This is a really delicious wine that gets 92 points from me. Serve it with lamb, game meat or juicy ribeyes. It has the flavors and backbone to pair with rich dishes. $30 is a decent price for such a blockbuster that gets 5 stars from me. Drink till 2027. Salut….
Shiraz is typically dark and brooding and this one is no exception, really rich purple and 75% opaque in the glass.
The label states a 15.3% alcohol so buyer beware. The nose has that jammy raspberry/cherry twizzler profile which I’m not a huge fan of- I hope the palate is a little bit more in my style. So, turns out this is quite a rich and reduced raspberry offering with toasty oak and red currants on the initial palate. As I drink this wine I’m starting to really enjoy it- the candy element long gone. The mid palate has juicy red fruits with a modicum of tannic dryness. The finish is relatively straightforward with good fruit, gentle acidity and a touch of tannin. There’s a nice mouthfeel that makes it easy to drink. Overall this is an 88 point wine that should be drunk by 2027. Ps. I did not get a hint of the alcohol, well disguised! For $19 it gets 3 stars from me. Pair with Lasagna, grilled sirloin or even roast duck. Salut….
It’s been four years since I had a drop of Mothers Milk, I was super excited to see it in my local wine shop. I’m cooking Venison Tenderloins in a mushroom sauce and think this might be the perfect match. It’s about 80% opaque and a medium shade of murky purple. On the nose it is spicy, peppery and has notes of licorice, blackberry and charred oak. On the palate it is really smooth and flavorful. Blackberry, anise and cola flavors shine through alongside some juicy acid. The mid palate is very fruity and has gobs of acidity to go along with lithe tannins. The fruit is working hard at this point to remain center stage. The finish is quite tart from the structural components but I do get more flavors right at the end. Black fruit melange, that licorice note and the acidity go on for ages. This is a very fresh wine that is drinking nicely and will do so till 2025. I’m going with 89 points and for $20 it gets 4 stars. (Ps. one of the pros went as high as 96!). Glad I re-discovered it! Salut….
This Shiraz is a rich purple and is nearly opaque. On the nose I get plum extract, blackberry and espresso. It’s very fruit driven but there is a touch of oak as well. On the palate is shows tar, plum and raspberry jam. It’s very tasty with a very nice balance. The tannins are present but are very fine grained and unobtrusive. The acidity on the other hand is quite pronounced leaving my jaw dripping. The mid palate has a vanilla component as well as the black fruits. The finish turns slightly dry from the crescendo of tannins that finally grip. It’s not a typical Aussie Shiraz, it’s more restrained yet still fruit forward. I like it. 89 points and 4 stars for this $21 effort. Drink till 2024. Salut….
This blend of Cab Sav, Shiraz and Malbec is particularly dark and brooding in the glass. On the nose I get black currant, rose water and spice. The palate is much more focused on darker fruits, mainly blackberry with anise and coffee bean. The mid palate continues the theme with more black licorice poking through. There’s a gentle dose of tannins that give the wine structure but are not obtrusive. The finish is decent in length and tasty with more of the same. The balance in this wine is good and the fruit lingers along with the acidity and tannins. I am enjoying it for what it is- not overly complex but extremely drinkable with nice flavors, good backbone and medium term cellaring potential. Drink till 2025. 88 points and 3 stars for this $28 effort. Salut….
Inky and opaque is this Bordeaux blend. On the nose I am treated to a melange of cassis, plums, blackberry and delicious oak. The palate is exactly what I was hoping for- rich, warm and layered with all those black fruits, very integrated tannins and a mound of acidity. This wine is very powerful and thick with fruit flavors, balancing doses of tannin and acidity and just the right amount of wood to make it very pleasing. The mid palate gets quite a bit more focused on the structure of the wine- the acidity really playing hell with my jaw and the tannins really starting to grip. If you’re looking for an unabashed wine that will pair well with game, grilled Ribeyes or a heavy pasta dish- this is it. The finish reminds me of young Claret, the fruit being masked by the power of the structural components. It will cellar nicely till 2030. 92 points from me for this $22 stunner that gets 5 stars. Salut….