By Kori ~ May 20th, 2009.
We fell in love with Australia and Australian wines when we visited in the spring of 2005 and were especially taken with the Barossa Valley. While the Barossa Valley is quite versatile in the number and quality of wines it can successfully produce, it is best known for Shiraz.
â€œThe Barossa is having so much success and so it should. Itâ€™s Godâ€™s own country and has established itself as one of the great wine regions of the world.â€ â€“Peter Lehmann, founder of Peter Lehmann Wines
Recently, we had what turned out to be an Australian Shiraz showdown in one of our private tasting dinners pitting the 2005 St Hallett Faith Shiraz against the 2005 Cimicky Trumps Shiraz. We liked both of these wines but all four of us preferred the St Hallett Faith. In fact, we thought it was outstanding, and with a QPR of 5 bangs for your buck, it is a great buy as well! You donâ€™t often find a wine of this quality for $12 anywhere. For a more complete description of how we set up these private tastings, please refer to How We Taste.
St Hallett, located in Tanunda, was established by the Lindner family in 1944. Winemakers Stuart Blackwell and Toby Barlow lead a team that utilizes over 200 different Shiraz vineyard parcels each vintage. Each year they produce three different expressions of Barossa Shiraz: Faith, Blackwell, and Old Block. St Hallett was recognized as Winery of the Year in 2004 by Wine & Spirits magazine.
Founded in 1973 as Karlsburg Wines by Karl Cimicky, Cimicky Wines has flourished under Karlâ€™s son Charles. Located near Lyndoch, Cimicky produces approximately 15,000 cases annually.
2005 St Hallett Faith Shiraz (Barossa Valley, Australia): Deep, dark purple with spicy aromas of black pepper and jalapeno. Dark fruits, especially blackberry comes through on both the nose and palate. Extremely smooth and well-balanced.
Quality: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: MadWine (Seattle), $12.50; Available elsewhere, $14 to $16
2005 Cimicky Trumps Shiraz (Barossa Valley, Australia): Deep, dark purple with dark fruit aromas and flavors. Cocoa also comes through on the palate. Good up front but a layer of heat (high alcohol) on the mid-palate makes it a bit off-balance.
Quality: 3 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Premier Cru (California), $15; Available elsewhere, $13 to $20
Filed under: Australian Wine, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Red Wine, Shiraz/Syrah, Wines Under $15, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25