Wine: Rolling Estate Shiraz.
Region: Central Ranges, New South Wales, Australia
In the glass: Rolling Estate Shiraz is a deeply opaque-red color with a completely blackish-dense core going out into a firm purple-red rim definition with fairly high viscosity.
On the nose: The wine has tremendous freshly crushed bramble fruit emanating from the glass with powerful notes of wild cherries, blackberry jam, blueberry pie and moderate amounts of vanilla creme brulee as well as oak character. There are hints of spice box and sweet licorice in the background.
On the palate: Rolling Estate Shiraz is nicely structured with forward black fruit medley starring the omnipresent blackberry, with fleshy notes of marionberries, loganberries and bramble. The spice note kicks in here again, almost like a touch of allspice in a cherry hering-type drink with good balance through the midpalate and a medium finish. This muscular wine also carries the recognizable licorice finish Australian shiraz is known for, though less pronounced than in similar wines from the Barossa Valley.
Odds and ends: If you wonder why I’m reviewing two similar wines in a relatively short time, it is because they are very different in style and both showed exceedingly well in a huge blind tasting of this “peer group.” This also happens to be one of the best times to write about these, because big, full-bodied red wines tend to be favored with the more hearty cuisine served this time of year. As we have now officially entered the Christmas month, this wine will do the trick on your palate, without taking much from your wallet. Try it with tri-tip rubbed with fresh peppercorns. It is a wine at the peak of its maturity, so drink it now through 2012.
Gil Lempert-Schwarz’s wine column appears Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Box 50749, Henderson, NV 89016-0749, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.