We’ve been meaning to explore more of what Australia has to offer with their Shiraz, which I will boldly state are their most famed wines. Argentina has been taking up most of our interest, however. The winemakers there have been making solid wines of all variety that are true and deep and rather inexpensive. Vintners from Argentina, and many other South American Countries have been quickly increasing their skill and their commitment to a wine that boasts no superfluous tactics in which to separate themselves as something unique or gifted; where antiquity meets passion is where great wine truly resides. For the frugal, or for the ones who spend their money on fresh foods over orgasmic wines, have fallen in love with such offerings, with joys unmatched in comparison with their price.
Australia is true to its fame, but hardly at our price range. Eric Asmiov recently wrote an article in the New York Times about the sweet-spot price range of wines. He concluded and concurred that twenty dollar wines are where quality both transforms and begins, takes shape and excels, over their less costly cousins. This reminded me of all the Australian wines we have had before. There was the F for Block 2006 nebbiolo that was a thirty dollar splurge, a fantastic and dark nebbiolo; and there was a Fire Block 2009 old vines shiraz for around eighteen dollars that exhibited strength, but lacked an cordial structure. There were others, but names escape me easily unless a pen and pad are near and at the ready to remember them for me. There does seem to be a great deal of truth to this twenty dollar rule, however, especially for Australia.
The intercom squawked tiredly at the store patrons about closing in some odd or so minutes as we rushed inside to pick up a few bottles for the week. The store closed precisely at seven, the burly intercom continued to blurt, and that we could only have our local government to thank for it. I suspected a cloak behind the voice; only the tired inflections of worker sick and tired of mingling with winos like myself can sound as so. After quick decisions and leap of faiths an Australian wine caught the eye of the other with me–for my head was stuck so far inside the Rhŏne aisle, quite stunned by the new selections. It was seventeen dollars, perfect for the bill (my Rhŏne decision was a twelve dollar bottle, of which we have had much luck with at the price as of late). We were escorted out of the store, now cheery in the sort of way that only future excitements can conjure, as the clerk stressed his arm muscles to prop open the clamping mouth of the electronic door.
There was fine cheese and a light bread, crusted as stone and billowy in the middle. There will never be room for doubt when utilizing this pairing combination with dark wines.
Jip Jip 2010 Shiraz, Australia – $17
– A dark purple when poured. Like a grape juiced intermixed with some dark rum.
– The wine clamors up and through your nose like an invasion. Game, pop rocks and cranberry are present. The wines intent was clear, fruity with no subtlety.
– The punch from the nose follows through, being very fruit-forward, palatable and clean. Although it’s far too clean and as such tends to be rather thin. Some terrior comes through, exhibiting some granite. You get a sense of the winemakers philosophy: easy to drink, using a tannic flair that shiraz is most associated with, but lacking any lofty goals of credentials, despite the mélange of awards promenaded on the label, when you taste the jello-like sweetness the linger leaves behind.
Overall: Pass. It would be an agreeable wine if the price was right. But as it stands, asking seventeen dollars for a wine with the aspirations of a ten dollar equivalent is too high.