Friday, August 29, 2008

McWilliams Hanwood Estate South Eastern Australian Shiraz, 2005

This has become my favorite under-$10 Australian Shiraz for daily drinking, more consistently enjoyable, in my view, than the Jacobs Creek Shiraz which has won gold medals from Tasters' Guild over the past two years. If you have an under-$10 selection to recommend, I would be happy to hear about it.

This wine has a good measure of new oak but it's backed by sturdy Shiraz fruit. It's deep and bluish with ripe smells and flavors of dark cherries and mulberries. Compared to the Barbera Piemonte, it's considerably thicker and more tannic. Quite a contrast in style, and I can predict that if you like one of these two wines, you probably won't care for the other. But they're both charming and food-friendly. This wine is probably at its best right now, at three years of age. The fruit is still strong and beginning to take charge from the wood tannins.

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