Tag Archive for 'Australian red wine'

Big Ass Shiraz

Big Ass ShirazBig Ass Shiraz
2006, SE Australia, $8.50 for 750 ml, 13.5% Alc
Red Wine

I like Shiraz.  I really do.  But when my husband brought me this bottle to review, I wasn’t sure how to take it.  I mean, it isn’t a very subtle hint at one’s physical endowments, is it?  Well, upon seeing my arched eyebrow after viewing the label, he assured me there were no untoward messages involved with picking this particular bottle.  I told him he was a sucker for marketing.

Enough of domestic issues.  You want to know if this is just another whimsical label masquerading a less than stellar bottle of grape juice, or if there is really something to that Big … kangaroo.  The answer?  There is.

Big Ass Shiraz pours with a deep, rich-red color and the flavor is very raisin-plummy with medium tannin (that pleasant, drying undertone that seems to grip one’s tongue).  However, what makes this Shiraz interesting to me is that it has a much higher acid level than other Shiraz I’ve had.  The acid really zings the tip of one’s tongue and makes the unsuspecting sipper take notice. Most Australian Shiraz bottlings are very “juicy” (for lack of a better word) and don’t have the backbone of strong acidity that makes other reds like Pinot Noir or even Cabernet Sauvignon so interesting.  This vino had all the pleasant full flavor of most Shiraz, but it also had a firm slap of acidity that gave it some oomph and added a layer of texture missing in other bottlings of this varietal. 

Bottom Line?  The Big Ass Shiraz is quite good and is a unique version of the Aussie varietal.  Definitely worth a try.

 Wine’s Website:  (Couldn’t find.  The bottle indicates it as www.bigasswines.com, but it does not appear to be the correct address.)

Lindemans Bin 50 Shiraz

Lindemans Bin 50 ShirazLindemans Bin 50 Shiraz
2005 SE Australia $7.35 for 750 ml
(Red Wine)

Lindemans enjoys an excellent reputation for quality, affordable wines and the Bin 50 Shiraz is another illustration of why.

Intrigued a bit by this company, I checked out Lindemans’ website and read that Dr. Henry Lindeman decided to start a vineyard back in the 1800’s as a means to provide quality, everyday wines for everyday folks. Hmm. Sounds like he might have been an antiwinesnob….

Whatever the case, the Bin 50 Shiraz demonstrates a quality (of the wine) to quantity (in the cost) ratio that would be nice to be found more often.

This wine is full bodied and higher on the acidity than many Shiraz. And, it has a nice “dusty” amount of tannins; just enough to give it some substance, but otherwise, it lets the higher acid flavors of berries-mixed with a bit of woodiness–do the talking. The result is a deep, rich, luscious liquid that I very much appreciate. It is a yummy sipper all on its own or as an accompaniment to a meal.

Bottom line? The 2005 Lindemans Bin 50 Shiraz is a very good bargain. Thanks Dr. Henry for thinking of us antiwinesnobs way back when!

wine’s website: www.lindemans.com

JackaRoo Big Red (Cabernet, Merlot and Shiraz blend)

Jackaroo Big RedJackaRoo Big Red
2003, SE Australia, $7.35 for 750 ml
(49% Cab, 44% Shiraz, 7% Merlot)
(Red Wine)

According to my Google search, “Jackaroo” is an Australian term for an apprentice on a cattle station or ranch…. Well, that makes me want to say something cutesy involving Australian slang and barbecue, but I shall refrain from doing so. You’re welcome.

In short, “Big Red” is a good description for this JackaRoo wine. While it doesn’t have a lot of depth, it is full of easygoing, juicy, round flavors, and it also has a good dose of tannins that save the wine from simply tasting like a fat, fermented grape.

The tasting notes cite flavors of blackberry, spicy aromas and a hint of vanilla oak. The Big Red did have a plump, berryness that I can see described as blackberry, and I did get the vanilla oak flavor (more oak than vanilla), but honestly, I would never describe the aroma of this wine as “spicy.” It just isn’t.

While I would have said that this wine was okay (not great, but okay), unfortunately, my Big Red had an undercurrent of unpleasant spoiled, nutty flavors that tasted as though it had not been properly sealed. In other words, it tasted oxidized. I don’t know if this is a problem with all JackaRoo Big Reds, or just a flaw in the bottling that I happened upon.

Bottom line? While the JackaRoo has potential, the flavors I found were ruined by the funky, old taste of oxidization. For the price, I have found other wines that have a bit more depth and taste much fresher. Sorry, apprentice. I think you’re fired.

wine’s website: couldn’t find







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