LCBO Sale Wine of the Week: June 9

Small Gully The Formula Robert's Shiraz 2013 (South Australia)

Sale $17.95, Regular $19.95
Discount (until June. 19): $2.00
LCBO # 142935 | 750 mL bottle

Tastes like: Huge dried and fresh black and red berries, coffee, mocha, black pepper and eucalyptus. 
Pairs with: Miami ribs, spicy sausage, beef short ribs, or a burger with 30% fat and 50% kangaroo.
Good for: Combat. Mad Max style.
Alcohol: 15.9%
Drink: Now.

Why we're drinking this
Fair warning: This is not a wine for everybody. Unless you like your wines big, brawling and bruising. This is freakin’ huge (pace The Donald). It’s almost a caricature of Aussie Shiraz. You know, barking with fresh and dried fruit, over-the-top spice, and gobs of eucalyptus and herbs. It’s hot too, at a whopping 15.9%. (Which means it’s probably closer to 16.5%.) That puts it into Port territory in alcohol, but without the sweetness. (Indeed, dissolve a tablespoon of sugar in there, and you’d have a pretty decent Late Bottled Vintage.) OK, you probably think I don’t like it. But it’s got something, and it’s about as subtle as a smack in the head with a Blundstone. Somehow, all that bigness works. It’s bereft of elegance but it kind of makes sense.

Tasting note
Massive black fruit (blackberry, plum, black cherry), dried prune and raisins, and cassis. Lots of menthol, eucalyptus and black pepper. You like coffee? We got coffee. And mocha, and vanilla. Hell, there’s a whole Starbucks worth of flavour extracts going on here. Here’s the thing: you can sip this wine and enjoy it well, but better chill it to take the heat down a notch from scorching to flaming. It’ll do well with big barbecue flavours, so if you’ve got some ’roo meat lying around, toss it on the grill in true Aussie style. Or, go for Miami ribs, beef short ribs, or a brisket. Spicy sausage would do nicely too. Or, and this is a stretch: Lay it down till Christmas, curl up in front of the fire and wait for Santa.

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