Thursday, June 24, 2010

Wine of the Week-d'Arenberg Shiraz

Once you discover a particular varietal that you enjoy, it's kinda fun to follow it around the world to see how it evolves dependant on climate, soil, etc. Wine fascinates me that way- I'm pretty sure if you grow a carrot in Santa Barbara, it's going to taste pretty much like one grown in Australia. Not so with wine grapes and there lies the endless possibilities of "terroir". As I've said, I am a fan of "big" wines and there is none bigger than the Syrah (or Shiraz as it's referred to in Australia). Syrah has really come on strong lately, especially with the significant contributions from Paso Robles, Santa Barbara and Australia. Today's wine is from an Australian producer by the name of d'Arenberg, and is called The Footbolt (named after a racehorse that was sold to begin the winery in the early 1900's) Australian Shiraz from the Barossa Valley gets most of the press and accolades, but this one is from McLaren Vale. Both are actually part of the area referred to as South Australia. McLaren Vale produces a slightly different style of Shiraz, a little more subtle and restrained than the Barossa Valley style, and even throws in a little chocolate or mocha finish, for which cabernets from Alexander Valley in California are known . Still a big wine, but a little more stylish than the in-your-face monsters from Barossa. Excellent dark fruit, (black currant, raspberries) and enough red fruit (cherries) to keep it from overpowering your palate. Good acidity. Under $20 at BevMo. Try this as a great change of pace from the usual Merlot or Cabernet.

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