LCBO Sale Pick of the Week: Feb. 26

Hardy’s Butcher’s Gold 2012 Shiraz Sangiovese (South Australia)

Sale $12.95, Regular $14.95
Discount (until March 1): $2.00
LCBO # 219139 | 750 mL bottle

Tastes like: Blackberries, cherries and the dry and dusty dirt of Tuscany.
Pairs with: Meat-lovers pizza, steak, pasta in red sauce.
Good for: Watching Crocodile Dundee with Italian subtitles.
Drink this: Now to 2017.
Alcohol: 14%

Why we're drinking this
Hardy’s is another venerable Australia wine house that’s a big, commercial brand — but they also make quality wines. Sure, they’re massive, sure they’ve got animals on the label, and sure the wines can be pretty big and hot. Nothing wrong with any of that, if the wine is good. Butcher’s Gold is a blend of styles as much as it’s a blend of grapes. There’s the rich spiciness of the classic Aussie Shiraz profile tempered by the rustic, dusty quality of Italian Sangiovese. It’s a nice mix, and it works well.

Tasting note
If you like the rustic nature of some Italian wines, the ones you often find coming from Tuscany and the southern provinces, but you also like a little more richness and “fat” — well, here’s your wine. There’s ripe, almost jammy blackberry and blackcurrant fruit, plus some coffee and black olive, and even a hint of bacon fat and (pardon if this offends) raw meat. That’s the Aussie Shiraz talking. From the Italian side, we get the bright red cherry fruit, zippy acidity and dry/dusty qualities of Sangiovese. Even though the alcohol is quite high at 14.5%, this wine is not a bruiser. It’s got heft but it’s lighter on its feet than a pure Aussie Shiraz. Nice, and best with big meat and pasta dishes.

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Hardy’s Butcher’s Gold 2012 Shiraz Sangiovese | kwäf LCBO Pick Feb. 26

This week's selection by kwäf Taste Bud  Dick Snyder