Savvy wine shoppers know Australia is a great source of undervalued wines, especially those in the premium tiers that start around $12 a bottle. These wines simply must overdeliver on flavor and quality if they are to overcome Australia’s unfortunate reputation for gluggable, chuggable, sweetish plonk and make it onto American retail shelves. This surprisingly dry and tangy
blend of 60 percent shiraz and 40 percent cabernet sauvignon is a perfect example. Whereas most of Australia’s bulk wines come from the hot flats, this wine’s fruit is mountain-grown in vineyards more than 1,800 feet in elevation. The resulting combination of intense sunlight and cool temperature yields grapes that are hyper-saturated in color and uber-concentrated in aromatics, without overripening the grapes or tipping over into flavors of cooked fruit. The wine’s scent conjures fresh blackberries, cracked peppercorns, and green herbs in place of the blackberry jam, vanilla frosting, or rum-soaked raisins associated with warmer-climate Australian reds.