Our friend Casey at Travelling Corkscrew in Australia has reminded us that May is Aussie Wine Month, a momentous occasion that we're celebrating with these three great red wines from three of the country's wine regions. We're sad that we couldn't get our hands on a Pinot Noir from Tasmania -- one of our favorite tough to find (in the United States, at least) bottles -- but we're excited to share these with you. If you love Australian wine, consider following Travelling Corkscrew for more.
2009 Fowles Wine "Ladies who Shoot their Lunch" Shiraz (Strathbogie Ranges)
We love Fowles Wine, and shared their "Are you Game" Sauvignon Blanc as a recommendation on Drink Wine Day in February. I wrote then that, "a conscious desire to produce food wines -- specifically those that pair well with the likes of wild game and the fish you've caught -- drives the wine making ethos here. We've paired their 'Ladies who Shoot their Lunch' Shiraz with West Virginia venison, and love their whites with all manner of seafood." Their 2009 vintage was excellent to say the least, a brilliant ruby red color with a complex nose of earthy farm, rhubarb, hearth fire, and incense. The palate is itself a bit smoky, with rich hints of deer jerky, cedar plank, and red fruits (of course). Cigar notes evolve as the bottle is open for a little while, with additional bits of green pepper asserting themselves after an hour or so. May 2017 is prime time for drinking this 2009 vintage.
2006 Longview Vineyard "Devils Elbow" Cabernet Sauvignon (Adelaide Hills)
I've been saving this bottle for about six and a half years, but pulled it out to celebrate Aussie Wine Month in May. Though we were initially worried when the cork disintegrated on opening, a little wine sieve and everything worked out fine, which turned out to be helpful given all the good sediment that's accumulated here. This wine is extraordinarily dark purple in color, with truly juicy black fruit and a little heat in the nose. Sweeter than expected, raspberry on the palate makes for a much more fruit-forward wine than what you'd expect from something aged for eleven years (drinking with us, my grandfather's contribution was "all wine is fruity, it's made out of grapes"). May 2017 is definitely the time to drink the 2006 if you've not already done so, and there's absolutely no need to decant at this point.
2012 Cape Mentelle Wilyabrup Red Blend (Margaret River)
From the Margaret River region on Australia's west coast, near(ish) the city of Perth, this bottle by Cape Mentelle blends 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, and 25% Cabernet Franc in something that is both special and surprising. It's another beautiful ruby color in the glass, with red fruit, earth, and spice in a somewhat alcoholic nose. The palate is rather unexpected -- not what we'd assume from an Australian red, and a bit reminiscent of something from Méntrida, Spain -- offering bits of vanilla, black pepper, cedar. We think the 2012 is quite young, yet, and could benefit from some aging. Pick up a bottle to drink this month, and one to drink in May 2019!