Our household has been submerged in a fug of early winter colds for about 3 weeks – at one point, all three of us were ill at the same time which was fun. Needless to say, this put a significant dampener on our enthusiasm for eating out, cooking and drinking. I kid you not but at one point I felt so rough that I didn’t even eat any of the chocolate cake that was in the house!
So, yesterday, I was quite thrilled to come across a random piece of paper with a tasting note on it …
Our local bottle shop is a pretty stock standard affair: there’s plenty of cask wines, a walk in beer fridge, a range of cheap wines (usually on some kind of deal) in the west facing window (don’t get me started on how wrong that is) … Fortunately, the staff are enthusiastic, friendly and helpful and the shop stocks a tiny selection of wines from boutique South Australian wineries. I picked up the Kersbrook Hill Shiraz because I had been impressed by their Riesling and the wine was marked down from $24.99 a bottle to $16.
Kersbrook Hill, which describes itself as an “ultra premium five star winery” makes use of the contract wine making services of Ben Jeanneret, of Jeanneret in Clare. So that explains why the Riesling is so good. I’m not sure whether it was him or Harry Dickinson who made this single vineyard Shiraz – but whoever made it clearly knew what they were doing.
The wine still looks young and there’s very concentrated, almost preserved, black fruit aromas accompanied by black pepper and even star anise. On the palate the wine is a lot spicier again, with black pepper dominant and plenty of ripe, full black fruit. The wine has lovely weight, with very soft tannins and some acidity. I did feel that the wine was just the slightest bit too hot, suggesting that the alcohol was just a tiny bit unbalanced – but that’s also a very common criticism of mine, so I wouldn’t give that too much weight.
The Kersbrook Hill tasting notes suggest drinking with with veal or white meat. I think you’d want to be careful taking this route – ensure you have some reasonably big flavours in your sauce because the wine could swamp a delicate dish. We drank some last night with spaghetti bolognese – the wine having made an appearance in the sauce – and it was a good match.
Even if I’d paid $25 for this wine I would have been happy, so $16 represents something of a bargain. Of course, now I’ve paid $16 for it, I’d probably blanch at paying full tote odds. But that’s just me!