LCBO Sale Pick of the Week: July 23

Majella The Musician 2012 Cabernet Shiraz (Coonawarra, Australia)

Sale $17.95, Regular $19.95
Discount (until August 16): $2.00
LCBO (Vintages) # 142018 | 750 mL bottle

Tastes like: Boisterous black berries, savoury dried herbs and pencil lead. Delicious.
Pairs with: Rare meats (prime rib for sure), thick bone-in ribeyes, slow-roasted lamb, chickpea curries and just about any pizza. Think: grill and wood-fired ovens.
Good for: Recalibrating your attitude to Australian wines. This is damn fine, and well refined.
Alcohol: 14.5%
Drink: Now to 2019.

Why we're drinking this
This is a damn good Coonawarra wine at a good price from a smallish family-owned winery. It’s less the brutish beast we’re used to from Down Under, and more the refined and forthright reflection of an honestly brilliant winemaking culture. Often touted as Australia’s “finest” winemaking region, Coonawarra is located on the Limestone Coast of South Australia. Here, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz are the stars, grown in the signature “terra rosa” soils (aka, red dirt). It’s basically oxidized clay and limestone. Grapes love its drainage, and it seems to impart a unique earthiness and a dusty, mineral quality. For under $20, this wine is a keeper. It’ll last a few years too. You want to barbecue with this one!

Tasting note
Beautiful nose of black and blue fruit (plum, blueberry and lots of blackberry) with a titch of raspberry for good measure. This being a 2012 vintage, it’s got a bit of age, and so you may find blackberry jam, blueberry pie and notes of cola, coffee, tar, black tea and black olives. There’s pencil lead too (thank you, Cabernet!). Yeah, it’s got a lot going on. Herbaceous notes of mint, dried thyme and hot-summer forest give way to a finish that’s medium in length, a bit bitter and dusty, but really good. This is a surprisingly complex wine for the price, but it’s also good sipping. It’s got a whopping 14.5% alcohol, but it’s not heavy or tiring. That’s testament to the ripe, delicious fruit and vibrant acidity. This wine is balanced and ready to go. I like it more with every sip. Damn it, I just finished the bottle.

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Majella The Musician 2012 Cabernet Shiraz (Coonawarra, Australia)

This week's selection by kwäf Taste Bud Dick Snyder