I hate that title. It promises more one can deliver. Sometimes weeks go by with no wine bargains (especially in, for example, North Korea). And I hate to contort the meaning of ‘bargain’ just so something can be covered every week, bargain or not.
The important point is: this week I found a spectacular wine bargain that is still available. It is the 2006 d’Arenberg d’Arry’s Original, Shiraz-Grenache, McLaren Vale, Australia. It is sold in magnum, meaning a bottle that is twice the size of a standard bottle (1.5L vs. 750 ml) at a recommended retail price of $49.99. The Wine Poste has it on sale for $20, making a discount of 60% of retail.
I first heard of this discount over a month ago. But it was only this week, when I finally got to taste the wine at a Wine Poste weekly tasting, that I immediately bought a bottle. More fool me.
This 50/50 blend of Australia’s most successful red grape, Shiraz (aka Syrah in France and California), and Grenache, a Spanish grape (Garnache) with a more widely used French name that has been given a new character in the soils and climate of the antipodes has enough age (almost eight years) that it is already fully resolved. The nose has surprising notes of cedar and cigar box, not unlike a mature Bordeaux. Dark fruits and black pepper also predominate. In the mouth the tannins have softened with time to leave a wine with backbone, but not harshness. The cedar and cigar box notes of the nose are confirmed and harmonious black and red fruits give an open and reassuring mouth feel.
I shall be drinking this with steak cooked on the grill. This big bottle will comfortably serve all six guests. It would also work with other red meat dishes. I daresay Southern Australians down it with lamb cooked with rosemary. After a few bottles they look up at the Southern Cross and ask “WTF happened to the north star?”
This wine is Crave Recommended.