First sip. Wham, it was like being punched in an all out flavor bar fight - it was like the cherries, blackberries and bittersweet chocolate were in brawling in my mouth (in a good, adrenaline filled way). And there was an after burn. I laughed: "This is gonna work with the ham steak!"
JPH grabbed the bottle "14.5% ETOH... leave it to the Australians...." And then our whole conversation turned into one massive stereotype of manly Australian musings. None of which I remember, but each was hilarious at the time - maybe something about this wine putting hair on your chest. I may have challenged a Pouilly Fuissé to a fist fight. (S. is in Asia, so she couldn't roll her eyes at us for being silly).
Really, this is a fun wine. It packs a lot of flavor into it. If you are having juicy steak marinated in garlic, this would be your wine. There is an after burn - which is less and less noticeable as you drink it. (I would say that the 14.5% ETOH kicks in pretty fast).
After Aeration: I used the Nuance. It smoothed it out, but made it less interesting. My favorite part of the wine is the initial overpowering taste of bittersweet chocolate. After I ran it through the nuance, it seemed not to be as intense. I drank it with our dinner of ham steak with honey mustard, double baked potatoes with cheddar & sour cream, and roasted cherry tomatoes in garlic with wilted baby spinach and chickpeas. JPH drank beer.
I really liked reading the story behind this wine. I know that it is all marketing, but I bought into it. New World wine is amazing. And reading about the budding wine region of Langhorn Creek area south of Adelaide, and the producer Brothers in Arms (sixth generation on the farm - hence #6) well, you got me. Ana you got me with your wine region running a 2011 photo contest. I'm not a very good photographer, and I don't plan on being in Australia this year (maybe next year) but I think that this is a great way to promote your region and your wine! 2011 Langhorne Creek Wine Region Photography Competition
I don't think I'd serve this wine at a formal Sunday dinner. BUT at a Bar-B-Que? Oh yes! At a ski house in front of a fire while eating bacon wrapped scallops and watching the kids sled over the cliff of dread? Definitely.
Thank you Australia's Langhorne Creek, for giving us a wine that is unpretentious, big, bold, flavorful, and a lot of fun.
And as much as I'd like to end this review with a clip from my favorite Australian movie
"The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert",
it would not be fitting for this brawny, rough and tumble wine.
So, I will end it with a scene from Vermont.
Here is that "cliff of dread" that I was writing about....