By Kori ~ December 19th, 2011.
As Iâ€™ve said before, in 2005, we took the trip of a lifetime to Australia. We fell in love with the country, the people, and the wine. While Australia is quite versatile in the number and quality of wines it can successfully produce, it is best known for Shiraz. When you visit Australia, you quickly realize that the wine industry there is actually older than in the United States when you see winery cornerstones dated from the 1840â€™s and 1850â€™s. In fact, Australia has some of the oldest continuously producing vineyards in the world, some over 100 years old. In addition to producing a large amount of varietal Shiraz, Australia also produces many Shiraz-based blends.
After we posted about our Digging into the Cellar Party featuring Australian Shiraz from the 2005 vintage, we received a shipment of current releases of Australian Shiraz and Australian Shiraz blends to restock our cellar. Rather than holding onto them for a while, we put them into one of our regular blind samples tastings to see how the current vintages are showing.
Both the 2008 Penley Estate Condor Shiraz Cabernet and the 2009 Kilikanoon Killermanâ€™s Run Shiraz Grenache are great wines; however, the Penley Estate Condor was our clear favorite. In addition to being wines of high quality, these Australian Shiraz blends also deliver outstanding value. Either of these wines would be great choices to put in your own cellar or to enjoy during the holidays.
2008 Penley Estate Condor Shiraz Cabernet (Coonawarra, Australia): 80% Shiraz and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. Dark purple in color. Nice nose with beautiful blackberry, black cherry, and spice aromas. Jammy black fruits, spice, and game come through on the palate. Full-bodied with lively acidity and medium to high tannins. Well-balanced with a smooth, lingering finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $20; Available elsewhere, $15 to $18
2009 Kilikanoon Killermanâ€™s Run Shiraz Grenache (South Australia, Australia): 65% Shiraz and 35% Grenache. Deep purplish red. Nice nose with black fruits, licorice, and spice aromas. Blackberry, black cherry, spice, and black pepper come through on the palate. Medium to full-bodied with crisp acidity, medium to high tannins, and a long, slightly hot, finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $20; Available elsewhere, $16 to $28
Filed under: Australian Wine, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Red Wine, Shiraz/Syrah, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25