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Tags: 2011, australian wine, barossa valley, gotham, Grenache, mclaren vale, riverland, shiraz, south eastern australia, wine blog, wine men of gotham, wine review
Categories : Wine Reviews
[This bottle was provided as a sample for review purposes.]
Cartoon Aussie label looks can be deceiving.
Don’t worry — this won’t be the wine you think it is. After living through over a decade of mass-produced, hugely ripe, straight-ahead, destined-for-export cheap wines coming out of Australia bearing tongue-in-cheek labels laden with any number of hand-drawn creatures, we can all be forgiven for looking at any sub-$15 Aussie red with a cartoon label with a touch of skepticism. While I think the country as a whole often gets unfairly typecast by virtue of the overwhelming response that Yellow Tail and its brethren received when they burst onto the international market, it’s probably fair to say that most inexpensive Shiraz still tends to follow this formula…after all, why mess with success, especially the economic tidal wave of success that these wines continue to enjoy? But this bottle does exactly that, delivering a wine that is light years from what your taste buds are expecting of a Shiraz Grenache from Down Under and trampling on some prejudices while it’s at it.
The first hint that Wine Men of Gotham’s Shiraz blend might be different from most is its alcohol level: at 13%, it’s a good 1.5% to 2% lower than the standard modern Shiraz from Australia. This is particularly unusual/impressive because (1) the regions where the wine’s grapes originate (Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale and Riverland, although the label bears the catch-all “South Eastern Australia” name due to this multi-zone viticultural collaboration — SE Australia is an area that spans most of the grape-growing land in the country outside of the West Coast) generally tend to have warmer-than-average climates, which encourages faster sugar ripening and thus higher-alcohol wines, and (2) Grenache grapes are known for producing wines with heightened alcohol levels, especially in hotter climates. It’s near impossible to produce a big, goopy, jammy Shiraz Grenache at 13% alcohol, which suggests that the Wine Men had something else up their sleeves for this bottle. Read the rest of this entry »
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Tags: barossa valley, north of 9, north of 9 fine wine, sisters run shiraz, tasting in stereo, tyler philp, wine blogs, wine reviews, wine writer
Categories : Miscellaneous
It’s been a few months since the inaugural edition of Tasting In Stereo, a multi-blog collaboration with online wine writer extraordinaire Tyler Philp, founder of North of 9 Fine Wine, that saw us each separately drink a pre-selected bottle, write up our own thoughts independently of each other, and then simultaneously publish our reviews at a set time to give our loyal readers two perspectives on the wine for the price of one. Our first crack at this blogs-colliding concept back in August proved what a valuable tool it was: we reviewed the 2008 Sister’s Run Shiraz from Australia’s Barossa Valley and had fairly contrary impressions of the bottle, but discovered after the fact the context that explained and justified our disparate points of view. Tyler wasn’t a fan of the Shiraz and thought it was overly jammy and alcoholic…because he drank it outside on a hot, sunny evening on his patio. I thought the Sister’s Run was a remarkable bargain that offered great fruit without going overboard…because I drink my reds colder than most people and had this one after it sat for about 30 minutes in my fridge. The whole simul-review turned out to be a cautionary tale about the impact that service temperature can have on any given wine, which was a pretty unexpectedly cool result.
Tyler's site -- click the pic to visit. Well worth the trip!
And now, 6 months or so later, we’re doing it again. Join us on Monday, March 19th at 9:00 p.m. Mountain time, when we will simultaneously unveil on our respective sites our write-ups of the latest lucky bottle we’ve chosen for double scrutiny. I won’t tell you what the bottle is, but I’ll say that it’s German, which means I’m almost guaranteed to be very happy with it. Hopefully Tyler isn’t as biased by Teutonic wine-love and can act as everyone’s voice of reason…you’ll just have to check back Monday to find out!
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Tags: 2008, aussie shiraz, australian wine, barossa valley, schild, shiraz, top 100 wines, wine, wine spectator
Categories : Wine Reviews
My wine-loving history in a bottle.
I’m psyched about this review tonight for a few reasons. First, I have been buying Schild Shiraz basically since I started collecting wine. This 2008 will be the 4th vintage that I’ve purchased (making Schild my first legit vertical), and while four years isn’t that long in the grand scheme of things, it takes me back to my earliest serious interest in wine, a time when ALL I drank was Australia Shiraz. (Incidentally, who DOESN’T start drinking wine via Aussie Shiraz? It’s like the vinicultural gateway drug.) Second, this particular bottle of Schild was the recipient of an honour this year that many $100+ bottles would kill for: it was named the #7 wine of the year in Wine Spectator magazine’s Top 100 Wines of 2010 list. This doesn’t mean that Wine Spectator thought that this $28 bottle of Shiraz was the 7th best wine on Earth last year, but it does mean that, when taking quality, availability, value and other factors into account, this Schild rose almost to the top of the heap. Spectator scored it 94 points (very rare for a wine at this price point) and generally showered it with praise. Third, unlike some of the bottles I’ve discussed in recent weeks, this one is widely available almost everywhere. Read the rest of this entry »