Wine of the Week: The Lucky Country Rose

Wine: The Lucky Country Rose

Grape: Grenache (100 percent)

Region: Barossa Valley, Southern Australia

Vintage: 2011

Price: $3.99 per bottle.

Availability: Lee’s Discount Liquors

In the glass: This Lucky Country Rose is a lovely bright even antique rose color from the translucent and attractively salmon-colored core going out into the glass-clear meniscus with light to medium viscosity.

On the nose: There is highly attractive freshly squeezed watermelon juice, rose water, rhubarb crush, red currant sorbet and some creamy strawberry sauce with underlying good chalky minerals and hints of dusty herbs de Provence.

On the palate: The wine is such a juicy and delicious mouthful of crushed red berry medley with dominance by strawberries, red currants and pomegranate seeds and juice. It is all about the freshness and nicely balanced mouth-feel with this wine and the tannins are certainly present even though it is Grenache without much contact between pulp and grape skins, but it finishes superbly and bone dry with hints of minerals and fine acidity.

Odds and ends: The Lucky Country is a term coined back in the mid-1960s and sort of referred to those who had immigrated to the land Down Under and not really made it. While originally an ironic social commentary by acerbic author Donald Horne, little did he know that superwinemaker Michael Twelftree — who also co-owns Two Hands winery in the Barossa Valley — would use it for his nifty-labelled wine. … Featuring cutting-edge Australian (mostly black and white) photography, The Lucky Country may just turn out to be your lucky choice of the week. And here in Las Vegas that necessarily can’t be a bad thing. There seems to be no end to the affordable and great wines coming out of Australia at the moment, and especially at incredible values to American wine consumers. Although they used to be on absolute fire in this country, that turned out to be a bit of a fad, which is beginning to materialize in a stream of releases being imported and marketed. I continue to taste a large number of wines to find the best selections for the readers and consumers who follow this column weekly. Somehow the Australian wines are not only very attractive, but they are tremendously prone to show well in tastings and so I find myself at their mercy time and again. Although Two Hands’ wines are much pricier, I would consider this effort from Twelftree highly worthy of your attention, especially this time of the year and into the summer months. I am certain you will agree with the pure quality, as well as value in this bottle and hope you enjoy your trip to The Lucky Country through this wine. It is in need of being chilled to approximately 50 degrees for maximum drinking pleasure, but after that, it’s an easy by-the-glass quaffer. Drink now through 2015.

Gil Lempert-Schwarz’s wine column appears Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Box 50749, Henderson, NV 89106-0749, or email him at