Insulation Against Autumn Chill – a Smooth, Plummy Shiraz

Wine editor MARY DOWEY selects a STYLISH AUSTRALIAN RED as her bottle of the week …

 

Coriole Redstone Shiraz, McLaren Vale 2016

‘Passionate’ is surely the most over-used word in wine. Passionate grape growers, passionate winemakers… there are millions of them. Who would get into the challenging, up-and-down business of fermenting grape juice into a sophisticated drink unless they were crazy about it? So I need to find another way to describe Mark Lloyd, the boss of Coriole – one of the finest wine estates I’ve visited in Australia’s McLaren Vale south of Adelaide. Let’s settle for driven, ambitious, innovative, pernickety, proud.

It shows in his wines, all worth trying – and none more so that this stylish red. Although Coriole is famous today for having introduced unusual grape varieties like Sangiovese, Fiano and Piquepoul to Australia, the company’s first wine back in 1970 was Shiraz – and Redstone Shiraz maintains that tradition with fantastic flair. It passed my ‘try it again tomorrow’ test with flying colours recently on three successive evenings, each time tasting even better than before.

At first you’ll notice pure blueberry, blackberry and plum notes with earthy overtones. Underneath there are hints of chocolate and spice. Then, with time, you’ll detect a savoury streak with the merest suggestion of roast meat. Coriole attributes this panoply of flavours to the fact that the grapes come from three vineyards, each contributing different characteristics to the wine. They’re all wrapped up together in a velvet-smooth cocoon. The oak influence is subtle and although the alcohol level is high there is enough freshness in the wine to make it seem appealing rather than hot and heavy.

Redstone Shiraz slips down with dangerous ease by itself. It’s also an easy match for just about any dish you care to think of that requires a rich red. Check its versatility by running your own ‘try it again tomorrow test’… if you can resist emptying the bottle, of course.

Alcohol: 14.5%

From Wines Direct, Mullingar, Wines Direct at Arnotts, Dublin 1 and winesdirect.ie, €18.60.

@MaryDowey

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