A slightly sweet aroma escaped the bottle as the screw cap was removed. That was unexpected along with the very pretty arterial blood-red color in the glass.
The first aroma, if not the color, is similar to a port, albeit a very weak port. On tasting, the wine seems a little thin. There’s not much texture as the wine finds its way around the mouth. There’s something that resembles a tannin feel/taste left in the mouth, but again a very weak effect. There’s a slight burn on the roof of the mouth, but none at the back of the throat.
This wine, or at least the grape, hails from the Barossa Valley of Australia which has some of the oldest vineyards in existence due to its geographical isolation from the rest of the world. This spared its vineyards from the root louse which destroyed much of Europe’s vineyards. The region also produces some of the best Syrah wine in the world. Syrah is the official name of the grape and the wine produced from that grape, except in Australia where the wine is called Shiraz (as is this bottle). And that’s okay.
Of note is the back label on the bottle (not pictured here) which says, “Cellared & bottled by AWD Cellars, St. Helena, California”, and “Product of Australia”. What exactly does that mean? Is the wine fermented in Australia and sent to California to be aged? Is the wine aged in Australia and sent to California to be bottled? Or is the grape concentrate shipped back to California on a returning oil tanker where all the wine making takes place? I’d guess the first. It’s an interesting world we live in.
While Shiraz is not a wine I drink often, I was expecting a little more punch from this wine along with a deeper color. There’s really nothing wrong with the wine, except the unfulfilled expectation. Disregarding the word Shiraz on the label, and just reviewing it as a wine, this is a very decent wine. Reading a few other reviews of this wine on the internet, uncovered some similar thinking. The consensus seems to be this is an okay Shiraz with average ratings as a Shiraz, but people still like it better than how they judge it. This is a pretty safe wine. It won’t offend anyone who drinks wine and it’s reasonably good on its own merits. At $5.99 per 750 ml, this is also a clear bargain for a quality wine.