Yering Station 2001 Yarra Valley Shiraz ($14.99)
This is an inky blackish-purple wine from the Yarra Valley, an excellent if relatively less-familiar Australian wine region in Victoria, an easy day trip from Melbourne. The characteristic black-plum fruit and menthol notes of Australian Shiraz gain complexity from distinct but restrained notes of earth and leather in a wine that's no mere "fruit bomb" but shows real flavor interest and an almost "Old World" style. Full and fresh, layered fruit flavors are well structured with crisp acidity and soft, smooth tannins. "Grilled meat" characters reminiscent of a Northern Rhone Syrah creep in with time in the glass, making it a particularly fine match with char-grilled steaks. US Importer: Epic Wines, Aptos, Calif. (May 29, 2005)

FOOD MATCH: As noted, this wine is made for grilled steaks, charcoal-seared and bright-pink rare. Unintentionally but adding a pleasant touch of synchronicity, we used grass-fed, hormone-free Australian ribeye steaks, imported and sold in the U.S. under the "Nature's Fresh Natural Beef" brand.



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