Tag Archives: Shiraz

Weekly Wine – Sawmill Shiraz

16 Nov

1116smcshiSawmill Creek Shiraz
Year: N/A
12.5% ABV
$9.99 (Edmonton bottle shop)

This just made it under the wire for a ten buck wine. With taxes it was about 50 cents more. But who’s counting. I bought this in Edmonton and it was one of the few wines under a sawbuck. Wine in Alberta is more expensive than in Ontario. Go figure.
This wine is one of those hybrid blends that mixes domestic and imported wines. So you don’t really know if it is really wine from BC. It could be Ontario wine mixed with Argentinean wine. It can have Australian, South African or even European wine. Who knows?
The art here, with these hybrids, is in the blend. What comes out of this melange.
This blend is rather bland. It is not that bad because it does not display any bad characteristics. It has a medium body and a bit of flavour. Cherries? Perhaps. Grapes? Yeah, they are there.
The wine is quite uninspiring. It’s a wine you take to a picnic so as not to offend anybody who does not like flavour. It is passable in the terms that I would pass on it and buy something much better for the same price, or even less, in Ontario.

Weekly Wine – Santa Shiraz

9 Nov

1109scshSanta Carolina Shiraz
13% ABV
$8.55 (LCBO)

Santa Carolina is a well-known and established wine company that makes economical wines. They tend to be good.
This one is no exception.
It is nicely bodied. It is well flavoured and rather sharp and tangy.
I like it – you will probably like it too.
The only issue I could possibly have with this wine is that it doesn’t have a very well refined sensation when drinking it. It does not have the complexities of more expensive shirazes. It is rather flat in ins flavour.
It is an inexpensive wine so that should be expected.
And treasured.

This wine is a winner.

Weekly Wine – Shiraz bicycle

12 Oct

1012conoshCono Sur Bicicleta Shiraz
14% ABV
$9.95 (LCBO)

This is a very standard shiraz.
It is not one of the great tasting, exquisite shirazes that will charm the palate and warm the body.
No… This is just a good straight, simple shiraz.
It won’t set your world on fire.
It won’t make your heart go fluttering.
Unless you have been spoiled by drinking just extravagant wines for the past few years you will like this wine – for it is OK.
It is a working wine. Swilling wine. Table wine. Wedding wine.
It is wine when you want wine.
There is a melange of flavours, mostly berries, that are nicely accented with some spice. A little sharp tang that isn’t too acidic. The wine has a full body that is not too heavy making it quite enjoyable. There is a bit of flatness and sourness in the aftertaste that denotes that this is a common wine.
May it live long under the ten dollar price barrier.

Weekly Wine – Orange Rosé

21 Sep

0921lorroseL’Orangeraie Rose Vin de Pays d’Oc
12.5% ABV
$9.85 (LCBO)

This is a very nice sharp wine.
I was expecting a bit more of a sweet experience- but this is a very nicely blended and tempered wine.
It is a mix of four grape types – syrah (shiraz), grenache, merlot and cinsault. I’m familiar with the first three, but am drawing a blank on the last one. The last one, cinsault, makes up 50 per cent of the grapes used in this wine and it is a new one for me. I’m tempted to go to Wikipedia and search for this wine but it is late and this wine is quite good.
Here’s the link – I haven’t read it.
This wine is quite a delight – even as it warms up to room temperature. (It is quite warm in my writing den at the moment) There is a bit of acidity – but not too much. There are subtle flavours that dance around the palate but do not dominate. If needed, I could concentrate and determine what fruits and other flavours this wine hints at.
But that would be work.
This is a wine for enjoyment.
And I will enjoy it now.

Weekly Wine – Southern Shiraz

14 Sep

0914toshirazTwo Oceans Shiraz
14% ABV
$9.95 (LCBO)

I didn’t like the first sip of this wine.
It was heavy and hit me like a ton of bricks.
It was sharp and cut my palate brusquely. My tongue was on fire.
I have to explain that I was working all day ripping apart my office/studio – cleaning every nook and cranny.
This shiraz was not what the doctor ordered.
However – I persisted in drinking this wine and was greatly rewarded.
Yes, it is spicy and harsh and full bodied – but it is a nice raw experience. An assault on the senses. It is saying – I might be inexpensive but taste the glory that I am. The flavour is simple and sublime and is in fact hidden by the sharpness of the wine.
No matter.
I have gone from not much liking this wine to contemplating this as a go to wine for the winter months in a mere two-and-a-half glasses.
Well done for this wine.

Weekly Wine – Pelee S-C

20 Jan

SONY DSCPelee Island Shiraz Cabernet
Canada and others
12.5% ABV
$9.95 (LCBO)

This was not the first bottle of the evening at the dinner.
It was the last though.
The consensus was that it was surprising that it was quite good. Not excellent, but quite fair.
The expectations were not high as this was one of those Canadian/International blends. They tend to be of questionable taste and quality – usually they aim to get the price down … under ten bucks.
This wine is that but it has a nice character. It is dry but not too dry. It has a fairly robust body and an indistinguishable syrupy fruit essence.
You won’t mistake this for “vin bon.” But then again it ain’t bad wine.
It’s a standard table wine that can be had at any occasion. That being said, there are better wines at this price.

Weekly Wine – Obikwa

2 Sep

SONY DSCObikwa Shiraz
South Africa
13.5% ABV
$9.45 (LCBO)

There is a bite to this wine that troubles me.
It is there with every sip. It is there even after I nosh on something.
This bite, which hits me back in the throat, distracts me from enjoying this wine.
It is fruity, but what fruits do I taste? There’s that bite!
It is dry but a bit sweet. I don’t know. I can’t tell. There’s that bite!
Such a shame. Is it the sulphites? Is it the wine? I can’t tell, there’s that bite!
The wine in this pleasant looking bottle is disappointing because of that bite. It denotes cheapness and a lack of finesse.
However, the label proudly tells me that the container is a “eco-friendly lightweight bottle.”
Well at least that’s something.



Weekly Wine – Frisky Zebra

12 Aug

Frisky Zebra Seductive Shiraz
Year: N/A
South Africa
13.5% ABV
$9.00 (LCBO)

This wine hits all the right buttons.
What a cool label … and it’s South African!
It is fair trade wine – who knew … but great!
This wine is carbon neutral – how great is that.
Is it organic? Well it does not say so. Is this a mark against this wine.
This wine is ordinary. And ordinary in a bad way. It had a bit of bitterness around it. Is it the sulphites that are in the wine? Are the sulphites free trade. Carbon neutral. The wine does not start or finish well. It is definitely not a frisky wine. It is a wine that one finds at the end of a rough night and mutter, “That’ll do.”
I don’t mind a good marketing campaign. And this will hit the buttons – a low price and “morally pure” wine. This wine is deceptive – promising much but delivering a subpar wine. It is drinkable – but only if you have to


Weekly Wine – Lindeman’s Cawarra (again)

15 Apr

SONY DSCLindeman’s Cawarra Shiraz Cabernet
13.5% ABV
$8.95 (LCBO)

So I’ve had a few bottles in the past year or so and I’m getting a little absent minded when it comes to what I’ve tasted and what I have not.
Here is the first one that is a repeat. It is not a complete repeat as this “vintage” is 2014 and the one I sampled previously was from 2012.
I’d like to say it is a completely different wine but that would not be true. It is near impossible to compare the two wines as much time has past and the tasting notes have been taken by the wind. The label is different. Much different.
What has remained is that this wine is excellent. A great wine hanging around as an imposter in the world of sub ten dollar wines. To truly get a much better wine you would have to pay about three times the price. And this is not an economic argument. This wine is a pleasure to consume on its own merits.




Weekly Wine – HardysStamp

22 Oct

SONY DSCHardys Stamp Series Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon

12.5% ABV
$9.90 (LCBO)

This is a good wine. Almost too good.
This is a new type of stamp series from Hardy’s in Australia. It does not have an indigenous animal pictured. It just states – STAMP.
Is this a cost saving measure?

Whatever it may be, this wine is good.
Not excellent – but good. It does not have the weight of an excellent wine, but it does not have the cringe inducing qualities of a bad wine.
The term that popped into my head was easy-drinking.

This term might be considered a kiss of death, and perhaps it should be. Crappy beers are forever marketed as easy-drinking.
But here, in the wine world, easy drinking, for me, means a passable wine. A good inexpensive wine that will not offend anybody and will be consumed and forgotten.
Until the time one needs to pick up a bottle of inexpensive wine.