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Today's Wine Tasting Note

© Copyright 1998 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved.


Two Australian Shirazes
Coriole 1995 McLaren Vale (Australia) Shiraz ($18.99)
Very dark reddish-purple. Forward aroma leaps from the glass, black pepper and a leafy, "tree-bark" quality playing around the edges of intense blueberry fruit. Flavors follow the nose, mouth-filling and full, almost a "fruit bomb," but a sturdy base of bracing acidity and 14 percent alcoholic warmth keep it in balance. Not a subtle wine, but immensely appealing. From an American perspective, I'd call it very much an Oz analogue (but not a clone) of a big Zinfandel. U.S. importer: Appellation Imports, Annapolis Junction, Md. (Jan. 31, 1998)

FOOD MATCH: Homemade pizza, a simple rendition with homemade tomato sauce, whole-milk mozzarella and anchovies. It went surprisingly well, with the robust flavors and intense fruit of this powerful wine standing up well to the spicy pizza.

Rosemount Estate 1996 South Eastern Australia (Diamond Label) Shiraz ($10.49)
Very dark ruby color. Full red-fruit aroma with a whiff of fragrant pepper. Soft fruit flavor, juicy and fresh, so fruity it almost seems sweet, but with sufficient acidity for balance. Lacks the complexity, and frankly the character, of the Coriole, but it's a good quaffing wine. U.S. Importer: Rosemount Estates Inc., Sonoma, Calif. (Feb. 1, 1998)

FOOD MATCH: Pork chops braised with wild mushrooms, a dish that called out for a Pinot Noir but went well enough with the fruity-peppery Shiraz.

All my wine-tasting reports are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I purchase all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores.

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