Thursday, August 14, 2008

Yalumba 2006 Barossa Shiraz & Viognier

This is a 95% Shiraz/5% Viognier mix. Went to Wine.com's shop in Berkeley (yes, they have actual shops you can visit) and told them I was looking for something not new world. Something perhaps more restrained, something that doesn't scream BIG FRUIT and high alcohol. For some reason she suggested this wine. I asked, really, a shiraz from Australia? She backtracked a bit, but said it is something different. Cost, $11.99.

So how did it turn out? The wine has a nice, dark, crimson color. Whiffs of a cedar box (almost a little minty), with plums and cherries. There was some sort of earthy scent, maybe like moss? I couldn't really pin it down, but it was part of the woody-cedar smell. In the mouth I got nice red berries, ripe raspberries, and plums initially. However, alcohol (cool, not hot) really rears up halfway through a sip and destroys the finish. It's like you're drinking this wonderful berry drink, and all of a sudden your mouth is filled with a too-strong mixed drink. Tannins linger after the alochol wears off.

This was really disappointing because the wine most of the way through is very lovely. Really nice red fruits throughout the palate, but that alcohol on the finish really abruptly takes control. I wanted the fruit to linger a bit longer. Oh well.

I might buy this wine again because it is so nice until that point, and, given the price, it's hard to find many other wines with such complexity on the nose and initial mouthfeel, but if I do have it again, I'll probably pair it with a juicy, peppery steak, or something the alcohol could cut through.

1 comment:

Matt said...

Right when the person told you at the store you were getting an Australian Shiraz I would have said something. Wines known for being not balanced enough and wayyy too alcoholic (although some of my friends LOVE them). For the past few months I have been ordering some wines from http://www.wineaccess.com/winerydirect

Although a lot are out of my normal price range and I also preferred to buy in store, I tried them out on a wine called "Jaume" which was right around $14 and to die for. Since then I have been hooked, they really know their stuff.

If you get a chance, read a few of the write ups, that's what really got me.