Some wine drinkers love a big Australian Red and as I say almost every wine has a time and place! I would prefer a hearty red with a rich mushroom based vegetarian dish or with grilled beef. But I certainly wouldn’t want it with fish as it will end up tasting tinny. On the other hand a hearty red may be good for sipping as the autumn wanes into winter. Different strokes for different folks. I am more concerned that it is well made and often suggest what food matches it from my memory bank. But you are the master of your own palate.
Just to be sure about big reds from McLaren Vale we try a Paxton Shiraz Grenache which by the way is organic. It is black cherry in colour but from a distance or a white background to test its colour it looks purple often an indication of a full-bodied wine. On the nose it has a dense aroma that rises from the glass. Lots of big fat almost overly ripe strawberries, the trademark of Grenache, blackberries and jumbo Washington State cherries. On the palate there are creeping but not overwhelming tannins. There is also cassis and an attention-grabbing surround sound of freshly baked cherry pie with a hint of coal. Rather intriguing. Although a wine with 14% alcohol may be difficult to categorize as elegant, I surmise its organic composition gives it some purity and elegance if decanted.
Now the question is if this wine is a heavy hitter and if so does it simply have power? I will say that in this wine there is a balance of power and elegance. Drink it straight from the bottle into your glass and you are more likely to get power whereas if you decant it for two hours the elegance will sneak in past the finish line.
I would give this until 2027 to naturally soften. It is not that often I have to scratch my head and seriously ponder a wine but this is one of them.
(Paxton AAA Shiraz Grenache McLaren Vale 2019 (Organic), Paxton Wines, McLaren Vale, South Australia, $21.95, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 149898, 750 mL, Robert K. Stephen, A Little Birdie Told Me So Rating 92/100).