Gamekeeper’s Reserve packs a punch

Gamekeeper’s Reserve is the kind of racy and incredible wine I have come to expect from Australia.

It is a big, concentrated red wine made from the world’s weirdest blend of grape varietals. There are Rhone Valley, Australian and Portuguese varietals in here, but they come together beautifully for this fruit bomb.

The winery, St. Hallett, is relatively small and experimental, and it is not afraid to put these types of wines on the market, because they are made in limited quantities.

What makes Gamekeeper’s Reserve so remarkable is, when you have this kind of extraction there is usually no finish, as happens with many overextracted California wines. This one goes on forever on the palate, however.

This wine looks amazing in the glass, with a densely opaque core, streaks of bright ruby red with pinkish to clear bright rim definition and a viscosity that is hard to believe.

On the highly complex nose, there is massive extracted crushed raspberry sherbet, strawberry compote, berry juice, licorice, minerals and spicy wood box.

In the mouth, there is an onslaught of fruit that attacks and coats the palate with outrageous intensity. There are loads of concentrated black and red fruits with mixed red berries, black cherry and a superbly delineated midpalate with an incredibly long finish.

You have to try this with something straight off the barbie, mate, as they say Down Under. At less than $10, you’ll have to fight me in the checkout lane at your local retailer.

Gamekeeper’s Reserve should drink well during the next three to four years, so get it while you can. It will fly off the shelves.

Wine: St. Hallett Gamekeeper’s Reserve Barossa Valley

Grape: Grenache (70 percent), shiraz, mourvedre, touriga francesa

Region: Barossa Valley, southern Australia

Vintage: 2005

Price: $9.99

Gil Lempert-Schwarz’s wine column appears Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Box 50749, Henderson, NV 89016-0749, or e-mail him at gil@winevegas.com.

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