New Australian Reds

2011, Raw Power, Shiraz, Adelaide Plains– $11.99

What a surprise! There is a lot to say about this wine—2011 was a terrible vintage in Australia (remember the pictures of towns underwater? That was 2011.) Shiraz at this price point is usually jammy and one-dimensional; the owner/producer, Rawley Power, is a punk rocker??? Well, despite all of those strikes, and that makes three at least, this wine is a hit—juicy, pure fruit, not at all sugary, just plain delicious. Only 2000 cases made, and yet just $11.99. I am going to pay attention to what this winery does in 2012.

2011 Rawley, Park, Grenache, Adelaide– $17.99

More of the same, except 100% Grenache, fairly old vines (45 years) indigenous yeasts, used oak, 900 cases—exceptional quality at this price. A really nice and, for this vintage a word used sparingly, fresh, juicy Grenache. Apparently this is the first vintage of this. Once again, given the strangeness of 2011, I look forward to seeing what 2012 brings. In the meantime, enjoy this charmer.

 2012 Misfits Wine Company, Cycle Buff Beauty, South Australia–

A collaboration of Shiraz/Malbec from a collaborative winemaking team produced a wine of concentration and balance in the remarkably challenging 2011 vintage. The wacky Aussie label sort of captures the smoky, dark flavors and a round, lush mouthfeel, though who knows what was intended by the “scantily clad ladies running away from a crazed biker gang”?

2012 Harkham, Aziza’s Shiraz, Hunter Valley, New South Wales– $33.99

Dark, penetrating, smoky cured meats—there is complexity to this wine, but it is wrapped in a soft, silky body that seduces you back to the glass for more. Grapes are hand-harvested, small yield, barrel-fermented with wild yeasts, and bottled without fining, filtering or adding sulfur. The wine is named after the producer’s grandmother, Aziza, the family matriarch who made natural wines in Israel. Total production of Aziza’s Shiraz is 600 cases, all certified kosher.

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