Thorn-Clarke 2002 "Shotfire Ridge" Barossa Cuvee ($15.49)
Very dark reddish-purple in color, this robust Australian red breathes blackcurrant and blueberry scents that signal its Bordeaux varieties, along with menthol, eucalyptus and spice aromatics that could just about pass for a Shiraz. It's big, tart and tannic in flavor; juicy black fruit is built on a firm acidic structure backed by puckery tannins. Full fruit carries it over the wall of tannins, but it's a high jump. Needs food to tame it, or a year or two of cellar time. US Importer: Kysela Pere et Fils Ltd., Winchester, Va. (Dec 3, 2003)

FOOD MATCH: Red meat is called for; it might be a bit much for unadorned poultry, although a hearty chicken pilaf with plenty of green peppers and onions came up to meet it.



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