Wine: Jim Barry The Lodge Hill Shiraz
Region: Clare Valley, Southern Australia
In the glass: Lodge Hill Shiraz is an inky-black to deep-purplish color with incredible opacity going out into a deep violet to fuchsia rim definition and ultrahigh painted viscosity.
On the nose: The wine simply explodes onto the olfactory sensors with hugely concentrated boysenberry sorbet, blueberry pie, crushed extracted black cherries, vanilla, coconut and creme brulee from the new oak, then hints of black licorice and phenols.
On the palate: In the mouth, the wine is a monster threatening to obliterate your palate in a black fruit bomb sort of way, with crushed blueberries, concentrate of huckleberries, brambleberry juice, yet more oak references and good chewy black cherry extract. The midpalate is beautifully rounded despite the high alcohol content, with a flawless tannin structure, great balance and backbone going into a superlong and tasty black fruit finish.
Odds and ends: Australian producer Jim Barry gained notice with his McRae Wood bottlings in the mid-’90s. The Lodge Hill Shiraz is a “baby McRae Wood.” This wine not only is powerful, but is a great value. It should be $75. The key words for this wine: breathing and time. Open it at least two hours before consumption and even decant it if you like. Try it with a serious piece of meat, cooked rare on the grill.
Gil Lempert-Schwarz’s wine column appears Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Box 50749, Henderson, NV 89016-0749, or e-mail him at email@example.com.