The Cabernet/Shiraz blend is distinctively Australian, and this wine has all the typical smells and flavors of Cab/Shiraz--black plums, anise, berries and currants. From Western Australian vineyards and with some Merlot in the blend, this Houghton offering is a bit cooler and less thick than many Aussie wines. There is a good whiff of green herbs and black tea from the Merlot and slightly under-ripe Cabernet-- bit too much green for my taste, but Merlot lovers will appreciate it. Actually, this herbal element adds the acidity that the typical Aussie Shiraz usually lacks. Tannins are friendly.
I bought this 2004 at Harding's Market in Kalamazoo, marked down from $15.99 to $7.99. It's a good buy for current drinking.