February 26, 2008

Hope Estates "The Ripper"

Shiraz / $14 - $17

Great response to last week's wine! Many of you have become believers and made the trip to PA to purchase these wines. Keep the e-mails coming.... This week, I am revisiting the wines that were left by friends and family during Super Bowl. My friend Paul Richards ( A real life astronaut!), brought this bottle of "The Ripper" for me to try. God knows, I love the names the Aussie's assign to these wines. When I read the label and found out the grapes were from a town called "Donneybrook", I had to give it a try.

These grapes are grown on the West Coast of Australia, then shipped clear across the country to the east coast for pressing and bottling. This wine pours out dark red, typical of an Australian shiraz. The nose is fabulous, blackberry and dark fruit, with a bit of spice/pepper. The flavor, although not overly layered or complex, is wonderful. Blueberry, nutmeg and some oak are well balanced and pleasant. The label lists this as 14.4% alcohol. I was concerned there would be a burn on the finish. There was no obvious hint of the high alcohol....just smooth tannins and lots of fruit.

Although the winery says this can be cellered for up to 5 years....I think you want to drink it over the next 2. The rich fruit in this wine, like so many other Aussie treats, is the key to enjoyment here. Why tempt fate....drink it with Steak, Lamb...or a good stinky cheese. Thanks to Paul for the wine....it was out of this world.... Until next week, enjoy!

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