$62.99 92+ pts
Lots of big reviews on this one. Everything 90-94. Cellar until 2015 but right now is just about right.
Pours a deep purple but not opaque. Lush, ripe, dark fruit featuring cherries and plums. Chocolate and cedar make a guest appearance.
When I picture an English plum pudding that is what this wine tastes like. Loads of spices, explosive dark fruit and raisins. Balanced with sweetness and gentle tannins on the back end.
Brilliant with spaghetti or lamb. Needs strong flavors to stand up to the big fruit. Also great by itself.
$22.99 750mL Clare Valley 2005
I got a chance to try one of my favorite rieslings in the store again on Monday and it's not German. Two Hands makes wine in Australia. They have six series of wines, this riesling is called the Wolf and is one of their picture series.
It pours crystal clear with a nice straw color. On the nose I get the distinct smell of rubber bands, others say it's smells of gasoline, but they are wrong, it's definitely rubber bands. Also some lime and apple. Very interesting. Sommoliers and wine nerds love riesling because it can make lots of different, complex styles of wine.
There is a mild sweetness on the front of the tongue, but not the typical sugar blast you get from some less expensive rieslings. Tastes like not quite ripe citrus, mostly lime, very tart on the back end. The mouthfeel is quite full.
I had this wine again the next day and the flavors had opened up quite a bit. More tropical, like overripe bananas and mango. Good stuff.
Two Hands has a good website with detailed descriptions of each variety and vintage of their wines. Here's the '05 Wolf: http://www.twohandswines.com/sitepages/wineDetail.asp?WId=10&Vintage=2005&ItemID=41&mmID=2&smID=5
14.5% ABV, 97% Shiraz / 3% Viognier $17.99
Wines from Australia are usually a bit to fruity for me, I'm more of a leather and dirt wine guy. Let's see how this unusual combo of Shiraz, Australia's famous grape, and Viognier, a grape straight out of the Northern Rhone Valley, stacks up.
This wine is pretty. After popping the twist off (this is how I feel about twist offs) I pour a deep, dark purple with strong lacing, an indication of the high alcohol content, hopefully not too much of a burn.
The nose is full of pepper and black fruit. Like tearing one of those little pepper packets and dumping it on a cut plum.
The alcohol is definitely noticeable, but not unpleasantly so. The tannins are big on the back end, a nice shot of novocaine to the tongue. Going back and smelling it again I'm getting some nice dark flower scents. The flavor profile, however, is not overly interesting, a hint of darkness, leather and such.
Great color, decent nose, a bit too hot for me with not enough going happening on my palate.
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