Archive | March, 2013

Wine Meets Music – The Weekend Splurge

29 Mar

beroniaIt’s my blog which allows me pronouncements, foibles, poor syntax, and clearly wrong-headed positions. With this absolute power in mind, I think Whipping Post is the best rock and roll song of all time. Or perhaps Cowgirl in The Sand? Depending on the mood I’m in. When I hear them, I have to say, “I love this stuff”, “It’s the best”. Go ahead, I’ll wait for you – give me your picks. Sympathy For The Devil? John Hiatt’s Paper Thin, you say? Yes, in contention. But, I repeat, it’s my blog. This week there’s a wine that will have you saying, “I love this stuff,”  “It’s the best.” I mentioned last week a Rioja Gran Reserva that wowed my friends. Well, here we are again but it’s from my favourite readily available winery, Beronia . You’ve provided tons of positive feedback about their ‘07 and ‘08 Beronia Reserva. Well, a Gran Reserva is made with grapes harvested from better vineyards, in exceptional years, and aged longer in wood and bottle. Result: it’s almost always a more complete wine. By more complete, I mean more things going on, smoother, truer expression of the fruit and the place. Classy, elegant, and in this case ‘just about perfect’. This week, taste the difference that the four letter word, ‘gran’, makes and grab a bottle or three of the 2005 Beronia Gran Reserva #940965 $32.95. You will not regret it. I love this stuff as much as Duane’s and Neil’s riffs! It’s the best! Well, until next week when I tell you something else is the best. Sunshine of Your Love? Pump It Up? Ripple? OK, I’m waffling. After all it’s my blog.

peninsularidgeStaying close to home, I visited Peninsula Ridge on a recent trek through the region and sampled their fares – great winery, great food, great wines done in a French fashion, in my mind. Did I mention the great food? This week, there’s a perfect Easter meal wine – 2010 Peninsula Ridge McNally’s Vineyards Proprietor’s Reserve Pinot Noir #257543 $24.95. This isn’t one of those ubiquitous big, bold New World pinots that I can’t help myself getting used to. I hate myself for that. It’s more feminine which is a wine bull schist description. It’s just hard for me to describe beyond the strawberries, smokiness?, the necessary and balancing acidity, and, interestingly, a wee bit of the region’s greenness – didn’t expect that. The review at suggests red roses. What happened to red roses? They don’t smell anymore. What happened? Can anyone solve the mystery of the disappearing fragrance? GMO? Wimpy roses conforming to a scent-free environment policy? Tar sands?

And, remember, just because you’ve squirreled away splurge wines doesn’t mean keeping them for that special occasion which, oddly never quite seems to materialize. I know, not even my best friends seem special enough (apologies to my best friends) for some of my stash. Family – well forget it. Do not treat splurge wine like your good china – hidden deep in the bowels of your cupboard never to see the light of day – break it out for friends and family. Make any occasion special and pop a cork on one of those more expressive and expensive wines. First day of baseball season? Open the 2000 Chateau Duhart-Milon. Just crested 4 o’clock on a Monday? Perfect time for 2002 Chateau Montelena Estate Cab. Squirrels leaving your bird feeder alone? Well of course 1997 Chateau de Beaucastel. Go ahead – you and maybe a mooching friend or two are special enough. Splurge up!

Rosewood Honey and Peaches – White and Sparkling Daily Slosh

27 Mar

2011_RieslingAn Ontario winery that’s making noise is Rosewood Estates  near Beamsville. I wandered there a few weeks ago and tried some of their current offerings (Merlot ’10 which was brilliant BTW, Chardonnay Reserve ’10, 2 different Rieslings, and their mead). Nice winery site (not web but actual) and even prettier in real spring, I bet. And, they have a dog patrolling the tasting room, a senior dog at that – I love dogs. This week 2010 Rosewood Natalie’s Süssreserve Riesling #258806 $14.95 hits the shelves. This is a medium sweetness, medium weight white with citrusy goodness. Great with some Asian stuff (not too spicy). Add this one to your Ontario Riesling experience. You will be supporting a friendly, senior dog.

08_MRWhy the reference to honey above? Well, Rosewood Estates makes honey and that ancient potable, mead! I remember sipping a ‘Buck Five Come Alive’ called “Ancient Mead” in Rondeau Park while still in my early teens.  Yes, I started early and often and I’ll thank you not to point that out. It was syrupy sweet and whispered softly in my ear, “Bill, you will regret me but never forget me.”  Guess what? I did and I won’t. Well, Rosewood has made Ontario mead respectable again for me. I tasted the 2008 Mead Royale #296178 $15.20 (500ml) and was wowed. It was light, silky smooth, subtly sweet but not too and brimming with clover and, well, honey goodness. Great with desserts, I’m betting. Get acquainted with this superb Ontario mead. I just discovered that there’s not much available in the stores. So, darn you’ll have to wander to their lovely winery on a warm spring day (or buy it on-line – link above).

bertrandTalk about a happenin’ grape – Viognier is it. Restaurants are starting to stock and push it, sommeliers are creatively matching it, wineries are rushing to plant it and stores are starting to sell it in case lots. What’s the big buzz about? (Damn, I should have used that phrase when I was talking about the mead) I’ll tell you what the big deal is – Viognier is good, it’s got intensity, floral presence, peachy/apricoty things, and fragrance in spades. Oh yeah, and Andrew L. loves it! This week, I’m recommending a relatively quiet Viognier 2011 Gérard Bertrand Réserve Espéciale Viognier #147975 $15.95 – softish, peachy but still crisp. It’s from Languedoc where they are really jumping on the Viognier wagon. The patio will soon be open, fingers crossed, and this wine would be great with what you’d munch under the umbrella, talking politics, or re-hashing the current season of Hell’s Kitchen.

libschoolchardOn a number of recent occasions, I have neglected to recommend a chardonnay for the chardhounds out there. So, here goes. A couple of weeks ago, I recommended a 2011 Liberty School Syrah #942383 $18.95. I said that Liberty School wines were usually available, fun, had a nice price point, and a middle-of-the-road flavour profile that works for just about everyone. The 2011 Liberty School Chardonnay #960120 $18.95 fits that description. It’s full of flavour, has a little less oak than many Central Coast chardonnays, and finishes clean. Perfect for the coming spring. So, when you finish spring cleaning, pop a cork, grab a book and relax with this wine (I’ve queued up Nikolsky, Gone Girl, and Updike’s Terrorist – you?) .

sannaproseccoEvery spring, I recommend this prosecco. Why prosecco at all, you ask? Well, you love prosecco when you have it. Pathetically, you lie in bed at night and wonder why you don’t have it more often – maybe on its own or with calamari, cheeses, light seafood, etc. I might be projecting here. And, I think this one is right on target for those days and sleepness nights. Pick up a bottle or two of the Tenuta S. Anna Extra Dry Prosecco #169128 $16.95. It’s got loads of what prosecco has loads of – crispness and fun.

What The Faugères? – Red Daily Slosh

24 Mar


Want a tasty California Petite Sirah? If electing ‘No’, proceed to paragraph 2. If electing ‘Yes’, continue reading here. This week, there’s the 2011 Langtry Guenoc Petite Sirah #019935 $17.95. Imagine you’re at a restaurant and you see a wine on the menu, a Petite Sirah red wine. Is that a small syrah? Has there been a typo? Why would we really care when it’s plenty good regardless. Petite Sirah is it’s own grape and has popped up, like the Viognier in this week’s White Daily Slosh (to be posted Wednesday) as a single varietal wine grape. It can be blended with, say, zinfandel, and stay below the radar. But, why hide in a bottle of zinfandel? This is a powerful wine; as in, people that tell you they can’t tell the difference between merlot and chardonnay will say, “Bill, that’s got some power.” Nice power. Cassis and cedary-power. Have-with-red-meat power. Never-to-be-left-alone power. Got it? Get ahead of the trend and pick up a bottle of this Petite Sirah. Actually think I got carried away with the ‘power’ thing. I meant that it’s got gumption. Don’t be afraid – this is very good.


Paragraph 2. There are lots of well-priced opportunities from the South of France this week. Let’s start the exploration with a repeat recommendation from two years ago – 2010 Château Saint-Roche Chimères #119354 $18.95. This excellent vintage it’s back with loads of oomph and personality. It carries the smell and flavours of the region – brush, earth, and maybe even a floral thing. If you like a wine that rises up and greets you at the top of your glass, this is it. What to eat? Well, what are the denizens of Roussillon eating? Bread, olive oil, pork, or maybe even a tasty cassoulet?


I’m making a sight unseen or taste untasted recommendation based on friends’ accolades and a little knowledge of the winery and region. “Very little, Bill,” shout the always present scoffers in the cheap seats. This week, I’m recommending you get a few of the 2009 Carmel & J Joseph Faugères  #310193 $16.95. Faugères is another appellation in southern France that’s usually a source of great red wine. My friend, DR, likes this appellation for value and I believe this is one of those solid wines that he prefers. The blend of Syrah, Grenache, et al grown on the schist which is predominant there is a great blend for any time. Really? Schist? OK, it’s good stuff qu’il suffise de dire, ce vin est plein de sa maison. I promise to keep the bull schist to a minimum in the future.


 If you’ve been playing along at home, you’ll know that I’m fond of Saint-Chinian – the wine, the towns, the vibe. The schist? When we travelled there, we stayed in a little village called Rocquebrun (our picture of Rocquebrun, above), at a home called Les Mimosas (highly recommended). We had the pleasure of wandering around and visiting several wineries. I will regale you sometime with the story of the peacocks and the big, scary dog. One winery was the cooperative “Cave de Rocquebrun”. Willingly seduced and upsold by a very pretty salesperson (“pigeon” plastered on my imposter Anglophone forehead), I left with their Cave de Rocquebrun La Grange des Combes to smuggle home in my exceedingly overweight suitcase. This week the newest vintage 2011 Cave de Rocquebrun La Grange des Combes Saint-Chinian-Rocquebrun #155804 $17.95 arrives. This is a full-bodied, wild feeling wine. By that I mean – it’s not tame – which, BTW, is the Webster’s definition of “wild”. Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvèdre – I’m getting a bunch of this both for the nostalgia and with for some braised beef, pork roast, or (eschewing barbecue potato chips during my annual low-carb spring diet) garlic hummus and veggies on a  Friday night. Perfect!



Always one to try and satisfy my shiraz lovers……..wait (too suggestive and just wrong)…….always trying to give you shiraz lovers the fix that you need (better), I’m providing you with a treat. The 2009 Hickinbotham Shiraz/Cabernet #159632 $16.95 is a great blend of Australia’s two red kings. You may have tried it a few months ago when I recommended this 2009 then.This isn’t brawny, chewy and over-the-top-fruit that we can find in Oz. Now restraint isn’t bad, that’s good. It has balance, some bite and still delivers with enough of the fruit that we expect from Aussie reds. Although some reviewers detect all sorts of neat stuff, I find it simpler (maybe my unsophisticated palate?) in a good way – you’ll love it.

Museum London – Let’s Dig In

20 Mar

When my son told me that he aspired to be an archaeologist, I took a deep breath. The son of a company man, who was a company man himself, I didn‘t quite get the archaeology ‘career’ path. Was there even a career, let alone a path? I knew there were things called ‘digs’. But from my ‘Summer of Love’ vernacular ‘dig’ meant that you loved something, it was groovy, dare I say, far out. I didn’t want my son doing ‘digs’, even if he did dig it. Despite my unspoken misgivings (He misremembers and will say that they weren’t unspoken, “An archaeologist? There are no such beings outside of three famous museums and Steven Spielberger movies!”), he took the path less taken and an archaeologist he became. Well, over the years all this archaeology has rubbed off on me. I know where Pantelleria is, who lived at Petra, and, all by myself, I’ve learned that Museum London has a great fundraiser every year!

 Museum London is holding The Art of Eating again this year – it’s on May 9th. The event raises money for underprivileged children and family programs at the museum. A great cause! This year the silent auction includes a Victorian Dinner For Eight (prepared by David Chapman of David’s Bistro ) taken from the Downton Abbey Cookbook with a mess of food-matched wine from deep in the bowels of the duffswines cellars. I think that David’s Downton dinner and my wines are worthy of a hefty bid. Come on out and get involved and help Museum London. See ticket and event information @

Getting back to my son, he has excelled as an archaeologist and he loves it. It’s very groovy and I can confidently say, he’s far out! This has all proven that my run of confident mistakes is not limited to annually rooting for the Cleveland Browns (2013-14 is the year, ya know) and buying RIM at $67, as it couldn’t POSSIBLY go lower.


A Splurge-off Between Two Graceful Powerhouses and a Super Duper Tuscan

14 Mar

RavensonwoodNow I ranted this week about the cost of California wine. I did hedge my indignation with a possible purchase of Chateau Montelena to discover that their 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon is not on offer just their chardonnay. Well, what to do? Maybe I could cheat a bit and get another of those rich, beefy cabs……….lots of label chasing potential (eh, CR?) as in Dunn, Caymus, Shafer, Rubicon. But, they are the examples that I referenced last week. Great wines all – just too rich for my blood. No, I think that I’ll spring for a zinfandel – 2009 Ravenswood Dickerson Zinfandel (#599183 $39.95). I spoke with Joel Peterson (Ravenswood founder and wine savant) last year, when I tried this and it all just made me want more of his wine; the talk and the taste, that is. This brand is zinfandel – well, and a few others too (I did wax last time about Ridge) – but you get it. We’ve all had their entry level zin and loved it. This is a step up in interest (spice, smoke, and more minerality – someone give me another word for that – than you usually get from zinfandel) and forcefulness. Not to say it’s heavy in the mouth or strong to the taste – it just brings it. But brings it with class and grace.

BaroloAnd, to drive home my point about pricing, let’s splurge – 2008 Paolo Conterno Riva del Bric Barolo    (#172783 $36.95.) From a small producer in Piedmont. Small as in 12 hectares and in the same family for 135 years. This is not an ageworthy wine, according to Antonio Galloni which is unlike much of Conterno’s previous vintage Barolos. This Barolo, like most, sneaks up on you – power under grace.  Love these.

VenerossoThe Super Tuscan that I get most vintages is 2009 Tenuta di Ghizzano Venerosso (#103218 $29.95). I guess that didn’t come out right. I mean that I’ve picked up this wine the past few vintages and this is the 2009 version. This is a beautiful wine – as in, it’s a beaut! If you liked Brancaia Tre and the Greppicante that I’ve recommended, this is a nice complement to those. My friend Michael says that these wines are ‘elegant” and I’d have to agree. This one is balanced throughout the sniff, swish and swallow and brings a nice medicinal (I mean that in a good way – minty, horehoundy thing) quality. Plus loads of fruit. I’m regretting the medicinal note. Let’s back up and try mint, a touch of sweetness and then there’s the usual tobacco stuff that I seem to always find in these wines. I can say ONLY $29.95 without a hint of irony. If you buy one, you’ll wish you’d bought more.

Rockin’ Niagara for the Red Daily Slosh

14 Mar

RockwayI seem to be plugging Ontario this week. Maybe Tony Aspler’s lecture plus all the Ontario wine tweeters that I follow are rubbing off on me. But, don’t stop me now. This week there’s a wine that I haven’t tried but will pick up based on reviews, recommendations – 2010 Rockway Vineyards Small Lot Reserve Red Assemblage (#321893 $16.95). As I’ve probably stated way too much, “Yes, way too much,” Bordeaux varietals in Ontario seem to do better IMHO when blended. I hear it’s the weather. Well, this wine has three of those varietals – Cab Franc, Cab Sav, and Merlot – a blend as ordered. Heard good things about this wine – that it’s full-bodied, rich and cellar potential too, if you wanted to see how it develops. And, you can’t go wrong on the price either. Perfect for a party wine. Spread the word – Rockway Rocks!

For those that liked the Chianti I recommended last time, pick up the 2008 Vicchiomaggio Agostino Petri Chianti Classico Riserva (#993360 $19.95). This is more refined than last week’s Chianti. No hint that it might benefit from a basket or a candle when done. Drink this puppy now, although there’s a recommendation that it will keep for a few years. Drink now – drink often. What to have with it? Come on….pizza!

ElHalcon_FRONTDropped off a bottle of Rioja Gran Reserva at friends as part of a big “Thank You”. They loved it and surprisingly they said Rioja was their favourite red. I explained that the grape widely used in Rioja reds, tempranillo, is used in other regions in Spain and in Portugal (under different names). They didn’t say, “Who cares.” But I felt it. This week, they should grab a bottle or six of the 2009 El Halcón Old Vine Tempranillo   (#313783 $17.95). This wine comes from the Ribera del Duero region from older vines. I know this as it says it on the label. This will not carry the effects of aging in wood that the gran reserva brought – so fresher. I know that Rioja freaks will appreciate it.

Reaching for Riesling, Among Others – the White and Sparkling Daily Slosh

14 Mar


Mailvoire RieslingRead a fantastic article by Tony Aspler (actually a transcript of a speech he gave) where he lays the groundwork for how the Ontario wine industry can improve. He talks about what Ontario does really, really well. And, no surprise, Riesling is mentioned as one grape that Ontario excels with. If you do a Niagara run, Cave Spring’s CSV and The Adam Steps Rieslings, and Flat Rock’s Nadja’s Vineyard are my favs. But, when I was at Malivoire a couple of weeks ago, I sampled their 2011 Riesling too. Loved it! I love tasting the wine in the winery best – talking to folks, getting free stuff. The tasting panel write up suggests sushi and I have to agree. Sushi with this Riesling (great balance, stuffing and enough acidity) is perfect. Makes me want to run out to Gozen for spider and rainbow rolls tonight. Oh, the wine? 2011Malivoire Riesling (#277483 $15.95.)

Want another Riesling – kind of a brother from a different mother? I am big fan of The Winegetter and he is all about wine (surprised?), but particularly German riesling. It’s been a bit of an education for me and much overdue. If you like German Riesling, want to like German Riesling, haven’t given German Riesling a chance, or are just curious about German Riesling, here’s a good starting point to try – the 2011 Balthasar Ress Hattenheimer Schützenhaus Riesling Kabinett (#735241 $17.95). This is a sweeter Riesling, maybe medium in our normal way of describing sweetness. However, if you let it sit in your basement for a few years, that sweetness lightens up a bit and you might get some petrol developing too. It’s got the typical acidity that Riesling brings to the table – so good with food which would be served on that table now. Give this a try – price is great too.

VintageInkNeed a chardonnay for breaking Lent? Try the 2011 Vintage Ink Rite of Passage Chardonnay (#245712 $16.95). I mean Lent shouldn’t require abstaining from chardonnay especially when there’s a new Pope in town to celebrate. Pope Francis drinks malbec, I bet. He’s a Mendoozy. Back to the wine above – this is a creamier chardonnay than many from Niagara. So, if that’s your thing, bring it on. Price is wonderful and just like the name and the image of this winery imply – its fun to drink. Come to think of it, what wine isn’t fun to drink?

Muga2011Ever had a Viura? Anyone? Buehler, Buehler? Viura is the primary white grape of Rioja. Thought that Rioja only made red wine? If it did, that would preclude Arlene (Ms. White Wine) and me ever going to Rioja. This week the shelves will be marginally full of 2011 Muga Barrel Fermented White (#958736 $15.95). This wine in past vintages has been warm (can I say that about a chilled wine?). I guess I mean that it’s a mouthful of spice and peaches to me like a peach pie only not sweet and without the crust. So, the metaphor isn’t really that good, is it? You need to try this at $15.95. If you haven’t, you should. Break out of the rut.

Spoiler Alert: Repeat Recommendation.

Sparklers are perfect for spring and spring is coming, right? Wet snow falling as I type. This week there’s a yummy, dry rosé sparkler It’s made from pinot noir – so carries some of the fruit that you love – I say strawberries. Lots to like about this and how can you argue about the price. Cave de Hoen Heimberger Brut Rosé Crémant d’Alsace (#168948 $16.95). Pick up a couple for the summer too.

Ramble #7 – Big Sur and Bigger Prices

10 Mar

Pricing of California wines drives me crazy. Oh, there’s lots of cheap naked, barefoot, and animally house wines. But, it seems that there are fewer and fewer solid upper mid-range, kinda special wines regularly available and we’re left to spot “value” wines or label chase. This is probably totally untrue (“Bill, it’s patently false,” says my friend Marty. But, we seldom agree). This week there will be a release of the ‘collectible’ and ‘iconic’ from California. Big California names with even bigger price tags. I can remember buying these wines when I really couldn’t afford to buy any wine at all (more of a pretender then – still a pretender, you say?). Now, when I’m spending my children’s inheritance, I can’t bring myself to pay $75 for a wine that I have in my cellar that cost just (well, ‘just’ is not the proper word) $39 a few vintages ago. What the hell has happened? With the wine business growing in leaps and bounds, consumers becoming more educated, and (aside from my jurisdiction) competition alive and well in the marketplace, why the heck does price escalate so rapidly. I’ve read all the so-called experts’ takes on this (poor weather, growing and insatiable Chinese market, swallowing up of wineries by conglomerates – the last puts the lie to the theory that larger companies can realize economies of scale). I don’t believe any of it! And, don’t suggest that this is an Ontario problem. I was just in Florida and tried to source California wine there and although cheaper on the low and mid ends – still there’s an enormous amount of truly crazily expensive California wine. Did I say crazily expensive? No, ‘crazily’ is the wrong word. The right word is ‘unjustifiably’ expensive. My theory – WE ARE DOPES and they know it.

So, I’m throwing down a challenge to all reading this (at least a few people do, right?). We will not be swayed by fancy labels, stories of a winery’s past glory (God, spare me the irrelevant Tasting of 1976, or whatever that year was, story), and intricate particulars of ‘terroir’ in California until we see some pricing restraint. It’s all winobabble (I’ve coined a word?). News flash, the tech bubble has burst, Hummers don’t rule the road anymore, and mass-produced California cabernets (and, let’s not kid ourselves, many of these ones are mass-produced) shouldn’t cost twice as much as a wonderful, rarer Brunello from an estate that pre-dates the founding of California, for crying out loud. Deep breath. Come on people and join me in a boycott of ………um……eh, do I actually have to choose particular wines to boycott? Can’t I wait and see what hits me while I walk the aisles? Yeah, that’s it, after I buy what I want, I will declare the wines that we are not going to buy. I’m principled but not that principled – after all, I love my Chateau Montelena and I am most definitely a big DOPE. But, you get the point.

Next ramble I’ll take the polar opposite position on pricing for Ontario wines. As in, they deserve to be priced even higher, maybe!

A Grisly Discovery and a Mosey Down the Mosel for the White Daily Slosh

1 Mar

Malivoire_Pinot_grisDropped in to Malivoire a while back and tasted a nice break from the ordinary Niagara slate – a pinot gris. Everybody who ends up sloshing the ubiquitous pinot grigio, needs to try this. You won’t recognize the grigio in this wine. It has a lot more flesh (or as my typo says – felsh) and is a really, really interesting wine. Don’t read: interesting and see: weird, different and threatening. See: fun, satisfying and just right for sipping on a surprisingly warm March afternoon. For the 2011 Malivoire Pinot Gris (#591305 $19.95), if I was a wine geek, I’d say that this is Alsatian style. But, I’m not, so I won’t. But, if you wanted one like that, this is it – rounder and more substantial than the usual pinot grigio.

HenryPelChardA couple of chardonnays need some love – 2011 Henry of Pelham Barrel Fermented Estate Chardonnay (#268342 $19.95) and 2010 Te Awa Chardonnay (#301135 $18.95). Before we get into the riveting description of these wines, remember to serve them a bit warmer than freezing cold from the ice box. Wine Lecture of the Week: I think chardonnay needs a bit of room temperature to flesh out, get jiggy, and realize its potential. Both these wines will satisfy the wine lover who says they don’t like oak-dominated wines (liars, most of them) and still satisfy those who unequivocally say that oak is the bloke that stokes their……..sorry ran out of ‘oke’ words. Send in your suggestions. As I usually do, I’d suggest a coupling of these for a tasting. Bring some friends over. You do have friends, right? And, try them both. Continue reading

Prince and the Red Daily Slosh

1 Mar

LibertySchoolSyrahLast week, I found myself dazzled and bewildered (not uncommon for me) in the middle of an aisle at Total Wine in Naples, Florida. The place is overwhelming with, well, wine –  5,000 labels! I wanted to get a good-to-great California syrah to bring home because we seldom get them up here in Canada. After an hour and a half, I landed on a suitable one. Why tell this story? Well, there’s a syrah on the shelves this week from California that’s a good bet for casual dining – 2010 Liberty School Syrah (#942383 $18.95). You’ve all seen and probably tried the Liberty School brand. Its fun, easy to drink too much of (what wine isn’t?), and reasonably priced. Their aforementioned (used that word everyday for 28 years and never since before today, baby) house style is reflected in this syrah as well while bringing typical spice and black fruit. I think that you’ll like it for sipping but better with food – like a steak as suggested. Brainwave! Try this and an Australian shiraz, perhaps the 2009 Rolf Binder Ma I? Have This Evening Shiraz/Mataro (#295899 $19.95) of about the same price to see how different approaches to the same grape and different regional influences reap different results. But, you’ll see that there will remain some consistent flavour stuff, as in spice and black fruits. Plus, that’s two bottles instead of one and that’s always better. Continue reading

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