In a weekend marked by an unexpected blizzard here in the Boston area, the best idea seems to be to escape to Australia, where they’re enjoying the end of their summer season. Chances are, between the storm and the sequester-ravaged TSA delays, you couldn’t even get there if you wanted. Maybe a wine from there instead?
Shiraz is the Australian (also used elsewhere) term for Syrah, a grape grown worldwide that has enjoyed a particular dominance there — maybe because the grape grows well in the climate there, maybe just because it’s fun to say “shiraz” in an Australian accent. Either way, when we talk Australian wine, we’re usually talking about this vintage.
Today’s shiraz is a decent $15 bottle from Australia with some more summery flavors than we’d otherwise expect on a dreary snow-covered weekend. Pick up a bottle — maybe it can help shake off any vestige of the winter blues you might be suffering during this late-season storm.
How’s it look? This shiraz is a translucent, inky indigo, with a light body that swirls easily but leaves thin legs that linger.
How does it smell? The Terra Barossa has a slight nose, with primarily dark blue fruit notes (blackberry, blackcurrant, and maybe a bit of plum.) Some slight floral scents chase the fruit down the palate, without a hint of tannins or alcohol (the latter is surprising, considering this wine has a robust 15 percent alcohol by volume).
But how does it taste? Much like the nose — not overpowering, and very fruit-forward, primarily plum and blackcurrant. There’s a bit of oak from the 12 months this shiraz spends in wooden barrels, and some slight earthy tannic aftertaste, but most of that serves as a palate cleanser that prevents the fruits from taking over and rendering this wine alcoholic fruit juice.