McLaren Vale, Australia; 15% ABV; screw cap
$4 at the Richmond, CA, store on 4 Dec
I’m not sure what made me decide to buy this strange-looking bottle, but something about the slightly haphazard label and the nice color through the bottle made me suspect that this was a good wine made by folks who couldn’t get it the distribution it deserved (or something). And it seems I was right.
While it’s pretty good at first pour, it smooths out and darkens over 60 – 90 minutes in the bottle, showing full-bodied, pleasantly complex, juicy and jammy flavors of dark cherry, redder blackberry / blueberry, a small herbal component, and sweet oak, enlivened by moderate acid of the above plus strawberry jam. While this wine does not really satisfy my snobby, critical side, it is really delicious for the price. I didn’t detect any signs that this wine is getting too old, but it is fully mature, so don’t wait to drink it. The next day it was still tasty, although less juicy and more port-like.
This bottling had three or four different front labels, all somewhat similar. The back label says: Beautiful deep red and rich purple color with aromas of ripe mulberries, rich black cherries and subtle smokey oak. … warm and fully structured mouth feel climaxing with a long, firm finish.” Hmmm…
later update: With more air, the wine the second night actually does satisfy my snobby, critical side (although not my Europhile side), showing darker flavors of red cherry, tangy purple plum and blackened oak. If you like a traditional Australian style (at least, as much as I know if it), this is really good for the price.