Cork Away # 1: Australian Wine at The Liquor Control Board of Ontario

The Australian Winery Yalumba makes an excellent “Y Series Viognier” at a very reasonable price. This time we try an organic Shiraz available at the Liquor Control Board of Ontario.

It has a black cherry colour. As for aromatics black cherry, blackberry and a slice of blueberry pie. On the palate black cherry, cranberry all with a short finish. Unfortunately the acidity is a bit out of whack which doesn’t help this boring and uninspiring wine. Might match a tomato salad or a pasta with tomato sauce.

(Yalumba Organic Shiraz South Australia 2018, Yalumba, Angaston, Australia, $17.95, LCBO # 280883, 750 mL, 13.5% Robert K. Stephen A Little Birdie Told Me So Rating DUD).

I have never been a fan of Robert Oatley wines but not enough to avoid them so we delve into a Cabernet Sauvignon from the Margaret River which as far as red wines go is known for its elegance and clarity and I would say produces a calmer and more sophisticated red wine.

On the nose it is loaded with blueberry but there are lesser beams of cherry and raspberry coulis. On the palate mild tannins and perfect acids which to me means you hardly notice its presence. More of that blueberry and some loganberry jam. There is a time and place for the more aggressive and bold Aussie reds and in the right mood with the right food that’s good on me mate. But this red is light on its feet and a good sipper. I might be persuaded to call this wine elegant. I’d pair it with grass feed New Zealand lamb or a kangaroo steak. And to help the Australians to keep their rabbit population down a rabbit fricassee.

(Robert Oatley Signature Series Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, Robert Oatley Vineyards, Wilyabrup, Western Australia, $19.95, LCBO # 323741, Robert K. Stephen A Little Birdie Told Me So Rating 90/100).

No mistaking this De Bortoli G.S. 2018 Yarra Valley Pinot Noir as a Pinot Noir on the nose with notes of raspberry and cherry in a smoky framework. Perhaps one might say a tad too much oak? But on the palate clean and pure with no oak interference. Raspberry, strawberry and cherry all very light on its feet. A Pinot Noir walking on air it would seem? Would be good with Arctic Char and wild rice or organic sweet potatoes. As it is so light and somewhat shy on its feet it is stereotypically far away from many Australian reds? Whatever your take this wine is well worth its $19.95 price tag.

(De Bortoli G.S. 2018 Yarra Valley Pinot Noir, De Bortoli Wines, Bibul, New South Wales, Australia, $19.95, LCBO # 15511, 750 mL, 13.5%, Robert K. Stephen A Little Birdie Told Me So Rating 91/100).

Schild Estate was one of the first wineries I encountered in my wine review career. It rather blew me away. Here years later a 2017 Shiraz from the Barossa Valley. On the nose bursting with blackberry but some red currant and black cherry. Matured in American oak very skillfully! On the palate this is no Aussie fruit bomb but very light footed and sophisticated. Short finish. Would handle a grilled flank steak marinated in soy sauce, ginger and honey. Although the label says enjoy now or up to ten years I would consume by the end of 2021.

(Schild Estate 2017 Barossa Valley Shiraz, Schild Estate Wines, Lyndoch, South Australia, $ 19.95, LCBO # 66555, 750 mL, 14.5%, Robert K. Stephen A Little Birdie Told Me So Rating 91/100).

Published by Robert K Sephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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