2012 Shingleback Red Knot Shiraz (McLaren Vale, Australia)… $17.
I continue my campaign in 2015 to increase interest in Aussie wines. This little Shiraz is a good example of why folks who love wine should continue to drink from the land of Oz. Aromas of black raspberries, licorice, rose petal, violets and currants. Nice acidity and structure (yes, Australian wines have that). Notes of BBQ spices, currants and beauty bark front to back, with BBQ spices lingering on the finish. (B)
2012 Shingleback Davey Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (McLaren Vale, Australia)… $24.
Currants and licorice on the nose with nice hits of violets. Excellent core of acidity backs the fruit notes making them “pop” on the palate. Currants and raspberries joined by notes of black tea and blackberry leaves. Very Bordeaux like in style with good balance and structure. This is still a puppy, and will age nicely over the next 5-8 years. (B+/A-)
2011 Henry’s Drive Morse Code Red (South Australia)…$13.
A little challenged on the nose, with light notes of ripe cherries. Ripe cherries on the palate joined by notes of currants and eucalyptus and licorice. Nice minerality front to back with a light beam of acid. A nice little picnic quaffer, that is on the simple side. (C+/B-)
2012 Henry’s Drive Syrah (Padthaway, Australia)… $27.
I’m hoping my notes are accurate, because I had to shake my head when I saw “Syrah” on the label. This is 100% Syrah with aromas of tobacco, BBQ spice and currants, with a backdrop of violets and oats. Boysenberry and plums on the palate with a tobacco edge. Red flower notes front to back with a eucalyptus edge. Spice comes through on the finish with tobacco notes lingering. This is quality juice with good balance and structure, once again proving that Australia isn’t just about Yellowtail and Jacob’s Creek. (A-)
2010 Henry’s Drive Pillar Box Red (Padthaway, Australia)… $15.
Very deep and resonant on the nose with notes of currants, tobacco, licorice and violets with hits of cherries. Currants like crazy on the palate with an undertow of eucalyptus and tar. Tobacco notes back up the fruit with good acidity. Sturdy, smooth tannins with just a touch of grip on the finish. 68% Shiraz, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon & 5% Merlot. (B/B+)
2014 Midnight Ridge Shiraz (South Eastern, Australia)… $8.
Notes of eucalyptus, licorice and currants pop from the glass with just a touch of tobacco. A solid backbone of acidity supports notes of currants and black raspberries. It gets a little tart on the mid-palate into the finish with tobacco notes joining the party. This is a bright and juicy red with good structure. I’m note sure how long this price will hold up, but if this is the style you like in a red, snatch some while you can and drink now. (B-)
2013 Thomas Goss Shiraz (McLaren Vale, Australia)… $15.
Toasty currants and dark cherries on the nose with hints of bark. Very brooding with tobacco notes lying in wait. Good core of acidity backs notes of red currants and cherries. Nice toasty edge on the palate with a slight hit of tobacco and black pepper on the lingering finish. Fresh and well structured. (B-)
2014 Renegade Wine Co. Rose` (Columbia Valley, WA)… $11.
Aromas of strawberries and watermelon with hits of cherries and dried herbs. Very fresh and lively on the palate with a slight steely edge. Watermelon and cherry notes all day with an herbal edge and a kiss of raspberry. A very crisp, dry, refreshing finish. This is a beauty for the money. 50% Syrah, 21% Cinsault, 18% Grenache, 6% Counoise & 5% Mourvedre (B+)
2014 Charles & Charles Rose` (Columbia Valley, WA)… $11.
Strawberries and cherries on the nose with a touch of rose petal. Clean and delicious with notes of strawberry Bubbleyum. Watermelon and dried herb notes come through on the mid-palate, leading into a bone-dry finish. Another great rose` for the money. (B+)
2014 Yamhill Valley Vineyards Rose` of Pinots (Willamette Valley, Oregon)… $15.
Ripe cherries and watermelon on the nose with hints of strawberries. Cherries all day on the palate balanced out by a good core of acidity. Hits of watermelon and strawberries join up on the dry, delicious finish. (B+)
2012 Sun Garden Riesling (Nahe, Germany)… $10.
Stone fruit, wet stone, melon, rosemary and thyme on the nose. Ripe pears and lemons on the palate with a nice steely edge. The fruit notes are ripe, but the brightness of the acidity cuts through the fruit, giving it a nice balance. For the money, this is a good introduction to German Riesling. Pair it with Asian fare, salads or shellfish. (B/B+)
2013 Butterfield Station Pinot Noir (Firebaugh’s Ferry, CA)… $8.
Bright cherries and cranberries on the nose with a backdrop of cola. Slightly thin on the palate, but true to the varietal. Light notes of cherries and a touch of cranberry. Simple, delicious, and no make-up. (C+)
Non-Vintage Tintero Moscato D’Asti (Piedmont, Italy)… $13.
Aromas of pine needles, tangerine and lime sorbet. Tangerine and lime sorbet front to back on the palate. It never gets too sweet with some pine action sneaking in. Finishes clean and not cloying at all. Super delicious and fresh. (B+/A-)
Stan The Wine Man