Geez … you can tell I don’t blog for a living. It’s been six months. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been drinking wine. I have. Unfortunately I also changed jobs six months ago, and have gone from alcohol retail to wholesale. So, it’s back to 10 hour corporate days, punctuated by the occasional outing somewhere to visit clients. That doesn’t leave a whole lot of free evenings to write.
Today I went to see a client who runs a store filled with amazing wines; some imports (his own), some local stuff. It really is a wine-lover’s wonderland, and if you haven’t been to Nick’s Wine Merchants in Doncaster, Melbourne yet, you’re really doing yourself a disservice. Doesn’t really matter, though, because he actually sends wines all over the world via his website – Vintage Direct.
So, apart from some yummy-looking imports in the $20-$30 bracket, I asked Alex (seek him out if you venture there – Alex knows his wines) for a cheapie to scoff tonight with dinner. He produced a bottle of Three Brothers Reunited Shiraz (2010).
Now, for the past four weeks, I haven’t drunk anything of note, purely due to a nose operation. As much as I’d like to say I earn enough to chuck big dollars away on a cosmetic procedure, in my case it was to correct a seriously dislocated septum, and rebuild the sides of my nose that were collapsing. (I know what you’re thinking … my nose doctor also asked several times if I have been doing drugs … but no, I have never snorted cocaine …).
So I have been having trouble even breathing through my nose, let alone really smelling anything complex. So, with my new nose, I dove into the glass.
Loads of rich, ripe dark plums, blackberries, licorice (Wow! The nose is really working!) are the immediate deliveries – however, after leaving the wine to breathe a little, I easily detected some milk chocolate nestling nicely above raspberry jam.
The first sips revealed the expected plums and blackberries, but also an amazing wallop of black peppery spice – the hallmark of McLarenVale Shiraz. In all honesty, I felt the spice actually overpowered the wine initially, but again, with a little air, this settled down, and I don’t know about the other reviewers, but I was left with a finish of Violet Crumble Bar. That’s right … chocolate-coated honeycomb.
Tannins were modestly smooth and silky, leaving a dry finish with no coarseness.
Drinking this wine, you get a craving for char-grilled lamb cutlets, or a medium-rare barbecued steak. Unfortunatley, none of these were available to me … so, after the third (small) glass, I settled for Old Gold dark chocolate mini Easter Eggs. Hey, ’tis the season …
Overall, this is a sensational wine in the sub $20 category. Even more amazing is that it only costs $9.99!! My advice – get online and get some in your wine rack for the coming winter. I know I’ll be heading back there to stock up. So, Alex, if you read this, put a case aside for me.