Mattie’s Perch Shiraz

Name: Mattie’s Perch Shiraz
Type: Red
Grape: Shiraz
Origin: Australia
Year: Non-vintage
Producer: Mattie’s Perch
Price: $5.99

It has several musty, off flavors and it is unbalanced by a wave of tart and bitter. The koala bear on the label is saying “Ripper!” which is supposed to mean “Great!” but that certainly doesn’t apply at all here.

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Jester Shiraz

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Name: Jester Shiraz
Type: Red
Grape: Shiraz
Origin: Australia
Year: 2005
Producer: Mitolo Wines
Price: $15.99

Wine.com won’t deliver to Massachusetts so I thought I was just hosed when it comes to buying wine online but I’m not. I got an email about some wines on sale at Central Liquors in New Jersey and bought several bottles that day. One of them was this Shiraz called the Jester. If it weren’t on sale, it wouldn’t have fit my price criteria, but it was only about 16 bucks, down from 22. And worth every penny. Rich blackberry and earthy goodness on the aroma, then the flavor starts with a sweetness that lingers on the palate. The sweetness gives way to succulent berry flavors before the very smooth tannins come in close to the finish. The finish displays some spice and tartness that endures quite a while after the liquid is gone. Very, very nice. I’m naming it a Cheap Thrill.

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Wolf Blass Shiraz

Name: Wolf Blass Shiraz
Type: Red
Grape: Shiraz
Origin: Australia
Year: 2003
Producer: Wolf Blass
Price: $9.99

Nice deep color with aromas of plum and blackberry. The flavor is similar but has a punch of spice and pepper toward the end and a lengthy finish. This wine had a tag on it that claims this label is the number one wine in all of Australia. Interesting given that I’ve never heard of it. I would have thought it would be Rosemount or Yellow Tail or something. This is pretty good stuff though.

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ForestVille Shiraz

Name: ForestVille
Type: Red
Grape: Shiraz
Origin: U.S. – California
Year: 2005
Producer: ForestVille Vineyard
Price: $5.00

I picked this bottle up because I like the ForestVille Merlots that I’ve had. They are usually cheap and a great value. At first I detected black pepper and spice on the nose of this one but the more I smell it, the more it smells like something rotten. The flavor just tastes like a little fruit, then tart, then gone. Pretty direct, nothing special at all. I don’t hate it but it doesn’t live up to my expectations of ForestVille.

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The Shadow Syrah

Name: The Shadow
Type: Red
Grape: Syrah
Origin: U.S. – California

Year: 2002
Producer: Edmunds St. John
Price: $9.99

Nice garnet color and a sweet aroma of cherries with a hint of new car smell. Well-balanced with silky fruit leading to a burst of tannins and spice before the medium finish. The label looks like something I could have made with MS Paint. Fortunately they spent all their money making a tasty Syrah.

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Georges Duboeuf Syrah

Name: Georges Duboeuf Syrah
Type: Red
Grape: Syrah
Origin: France
Year: 2005
Producer: Georges Duboeuf
Price: $6.00

Has an earthy and very slightly smoky aroma of blackberry. The flavor is slightly sweet at first and then it shows some fruit before the medium finish. The mouth feel is light, especially for a Syrah, and it definitely has some tannins but they aren’t rough. This is maybe my favorite wine that I’ve had from this producer.

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The Reserve Yellow Tail Shiraz

Name: The Reserve Yellow Tail Shiraz
Type: Red
Grape: Shiraz
Origin: Australia
Year: 2004
Producer: Casella Wines
Price: $10.00

A presumably fancier version of the Yellow Tail wine that you see virtually everywhere, this wine is inscribed with “The Reserve” in script lettering. The couple extra bucks apparently at least buys some more aroma as it has a robust nose with sweet scents of raspberry. On my initial tasting it was extremely tart so I decanted it for 10-15 minutes to let it loosen up a bit. It did loosen up a bit, the bite didn’t take
effect until late in the flavor and on the finish. Still, the dominant flavor is tart and that doesn’t make it
one of my favorite bottles of Shiraz. You can do better than this “Reserve.”

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Woop Woop Shiraz

Name: Woop Woop Shiraz
Type: Red
Grape: Shiraz
Origin: Australia
Year: 2005
Producer: Woop Woop Wines
Price: $9.99

This bottle has a very clever top that I’ve never seen before. You pull a tab and remove a plastic piece that wraps around, leaving only a plastic topper that easily pops off and back on. Smells of blueberry and a little smoke. The flavor has fruit that develops into a spicy and slightly tannic finish that lingers. It isn’t bad, about spot on in terms of quality for the price.

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Marquis Philips Vintage Shiraz

Name: Marquis Philips Vintage Shiraz
Type: Red
Grape: Shiraz
Origin: Australia
Year: 2004
Producer: Marquis Philips
Price: $14.99

Nice oaky aroma, deep purple color. Spicy, peppery flavor with berries and some soft tannins on the lengthy finish. This is a very nice Shiraz, even for this price which is at the higher end of my price range. I had it with some specialty cheeses from NYC and it was very nice.

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Jacobs Creek Reserve Shiraz

Name: Jacobs Creek Reserve
Type: Red
Grape: Shiraz
Origin: Australia
Year: 2003
Producer: Orlando Wines
Price: $12.99

The aroma is that of a sweet red wine like port and slightly smoky. The flavor packs a real punch, Shiraz is one of the more powerful red wines anyway but this one is powerful even for a Shiraz. I would recommend eating a meal with this wine (a flavorful red meat preferably) because it really needs a partner to tango. The flavor starts with a woodsy flavor that shows some notable tannins as it rolls over your tongue. The characteristic peppery flavor dominates the finish, again stronger than your typical Shiraz. It’s a pretty good Shiraz if you appreciate a wine that smacks you around a little.

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