Dense, rich and chewy, this is a relative bargain in the rapidly escalating world of Australian Shiraz. Pungent espresso, black pepper and blackberry aromas are backed by flavors that veer ever so slightly toward dried fruits and earth. Long and supple on the finish, filled with dusty tannins, exotic spice and echoes of fruit. Drink now–2012.
This mature and ripe wine shows impressive complexity and a smooth, full mouthfeel. Deep dark-cherry fruit wears meaty, peppery accents and an almost Worcestershire/marinade quality noted by more than one taster. Mocha and earth, black pepper, leather and herb all show on the long and even finish. Drink this handsome wine now through 2005.
Full-bodied and more muscular than the regular Tatachilla offerings, the 2002 Foundation Shiraz combines scents of plum, roasted meat and vanilla into an enveloping bouquet. Flavors are dark and intense, yielding hints of plum, meat and cola, while the finish is long and chocolaty. Drink from 2010–2020.
A creamy but not mushy mouthfeel and nicely defined flavors mark this friendly, easy-to-enjoy bottling. It’s mainstream, with mild tropical fruit and citrus aromas and flavors, but it has a bit more class than many similar wines, especially with its even feel and long finish. Best Buy.
This is a thick, ripe Aussie red in which you can stand up a fork. The bold blackberry, vanilla, black pepper and dark earth flavors are not about finesse or elegance; this is stick-to-your-ribs stuff. Best Buy. —J.C.
The nose offers penetrating eucalypus notes, plus blackberry and stone aromas. Eucalyptus persists on the palate, enveloping bright red fruit flavors. Medium-bodied and smooth, it closes with smooth, slatelike minerality. —D.M.
Offering up juicy plum and mulberry fruit as well as more savory notes of black olive and coffee, this medium-bodied, silky-textured Cabernet seems primed for near-term consumption. At the reasonable asking price, it would make a nice step up for a weeknight dinner or a by-the-glass pour at a local steakhouse.
An overripe quality to the blackberry-liqueur fruit, especially on the nose, marks this lovable sweet jam-fest. The smooth palate has tea and clove accents that add enough interest to prevent a descent into sticky simplicity, and the package turns less sugary and a touch more rustic and earthy on the finish.