Sunday, February 28, 2010

2007 John Duval Wines Shiraz, "Entity"

I confess I tend to shy away from any Aussie shiraz that costs more than $20. I love the bang-for -the-buck you get from their wines at this price point, but often spending more money doesn't get you much increase in complexity (you can say that about a lot of wines, right?). But this wine, made from Barossa fruit, delivers that elusive complexity at a retail price that makes sense when you consider all it delivers. Make no mistake, this is a dense, purple-colored, mouth-coating wine with the opulence you expect from an Aussie shiraz, but its underlying texture, aroma and flavof make you pause and reflect on what is lurking under the fruit. Like most young Aussie shiraz, it is drinking nicely now but up to five years in your cellar should enhance that complexity.

I purchased this wine at the Total Wine store in Tucson for $38. Parker gave it a 93 and I can't argue against that score.

Monday, February 15, 2010

2007 Rasteau, Domaine Grand Nicolet ,Vieilles Vignes

Another example of the fabulous values that can be found in the Cotes-du-Rhone appellation of the Rhone Valley. This one comes from the Rasteau sub-appellation and it is loaded with intense, layered aromatics and flavor. This wine is 80% grenache and 20% syrah, sourced from vines with an average age of 45 years. This dense, rich wine has supple tannins and an almost chewy mouth feel. The 15% alcohol is a reflection of the near-perfect vintage for this area but this wine has not a trace of heat. The price? $19 at the Wine Exchange in Orange, CA. What a fine bargain. Parker gave it a 91-93 preliminary rating.