Saturday 2nd of June 2012

Shiraz plays Shiraz 2009

December 7 2011
A black minimalist screw top bottle, with a bold white embossed label. No fuss, no pretence, straight talking.

This £9.99 Virgin Wines Shiraz (yes, the clue is on the label), is big, really big. 14.5%ABV of fully sun baked Australian Barossa Valley grapes with maximum punch. Sip it and take a moment. Take a few steps back as if defending yourself from the onslaught. Roll with the punches and enjoy the kick as the alcohol courses through your veins, balanced with bold, firm, fruity flavours.

It is a meal in itself, and after a while I quite enjoyed it, I just dare not drink too much.

Why is Shiraz so thick and heavy? The answer lies both in the climate and the grape itself-

1) Lots of sun = lots of sugar = lots of alcohol = lots of bang.

2) Lots of tannins and concentrated flavour from the Shiraz grape adds to the load.

This combination makes a full bodied wine, not for the faint-hearted.

The trick is delivering all this in a balanced way without burning the back of your throat. This wine achieves this (just), and I will be back for more.

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