Too much of a good thing is never good. That’s what I think happened to the lack of American interest in Australian Wine. Just like Americans associate ALL GREEK WINE with RETSINA (tastes like gasoline) and refuse to drink this category of some of the finest wines in the world, they do the same thing with Australian Wine. They are afraid of the KANGAROO. What was good for everyday wine has most wine retailers and restaurants scaling down their Australian Sections to barely none and American Consumers making a face as soon as they get within 10 feet of the Australian Wine Section. That to me is a shame. I must admit this amazing wine I am about to review is on CLEARANCE for $9.00 which is 1/2 the Suggested Retail Price. This received over 90 points from 3 Major Reviewers including 91 Wine Spectator.
Aussie Wines Are Not All High ABV Fruit Bombs
It is all about Maritime Climates. Long Sunny Days and Cool Nights for the grapes to rest. This is where the BRIX or sugar level is manageable and more complexity and tannins and balanced acidity in the grapes. This is one of my Huge Problems with Napa and Alexander Valley. It’s A DESERT! No WATER! HOT HOT HOT…and GLOBAL WARMING on top of that. The Late Robert Mondavi would be so upset if he knew that a wine with his name from Napa Valley at $30 Retail contained 15.9% Alcohol. In Australia to me it’s all about Mclaren Vale for the proper Maritime Climate. Of course you need a great winemaker like Ben Riggs and a great vineyard manager to know when it’s time to harvest before you wind up with Syrah Amarone on the Heat Index.
2013 The Chook Shiraz/Viognier Blend Mclaren Vale
It may sound a little weird to take 4% of a White Rhone Variety Viognier and Blend it With 96% Red Shiraz. Aussie winemakers use this mix a lot and it works. The Chook (Aussie Slang for CHICKEN) is recommended by the winery to be drank when you are feasting or just talking about “THE CHOOKS” in your backyard with your mates. For me this is exactly the type of wine you want with anything shall I say on the “BARBIE” especially some Griiled “CHOOK”, Australian Lamb, and I think it would even work well with some big grilled prawns or salmon as the fruit is ripe and tannins are not noticeable!
Tasting Notes and Review
As usual, all my wines I review are opened 1 hour at least in advance and chilled down to 68 degrees and also tasted over a 2 day period. Deep Deep, Dark Purple on the color and beautiful legs coming down the side of the glass from the very respectable 14.5% alcohol. On the nose a mixture of Blackberry Liqueur , A Bag of those British Bassett’s Multi-colored Black Licorice Candy (I ate them as a kid) and from the Viognier a nice hint of Dried Apricot in the background. On my palate a medium to full body with very kirsch and cassis intense fruit (NOT A JAM BOMB) floral flavors like violets, liquid licorice very soft and elegant tannins with a slight spicy SHIRAZ Black Pepper yet soft finish that lingers on. I get a little citrus notes of the apricot as well coming from that 4% Viognier. I am going to go 90 POINTS and agree more closely with Steven Tanzer’s Review. This is not like Barossa Valley or one of those 17% Alcohol One And Done Wines. A definite Weekend BBQ Wine and yet a shame thanks to American’s Preconceived Thoughts On Aussie Wine… On Clearance Sale right now at ABC Fine Wine in Florida
Don’t Be A Chook (cluck cluck)
If you are local in Florida I would rent a U Haul and just scour every location for these $9.00 Clearance wines from ABC Fine Wine & Spirits but don’t be a Chicken or Chook next time a Sommelier or one of our ABC Fine Wine And Spirits Specialists recommends a wine from Australia. Wines like Serafino, Grenache, Syrah and Mourverdre (GSM BLEND) or their Cab or Shiraz or Bruno Tait’s The Ball Buster, or Red Silk or Any Wines from Two Hands, to order these wines thinking Fruity Tootie. You will be pleasantly surprised at amazing wines this Country and Great Winemakers are still putting out there. Just Wipe the Image of Kangaroos out of your Mind and Start Thinking About CHOOKS . Cheers Mates!!!
Grape-fully yours, Larry