Everyone’s had Yellow Tail. Even if you don’t like to admit it, you have. Say what you will about the grocery store mainstay, but Down Under wines as a whole owe something of their stateside popularity to the black label with the kangaroo. I even noticed a bottle on the counter in this fall’s horror phenomenon Paranormal Activity.
That being said, and without needing to be said, there are a lot of wines from Australia that blow Yellow Tail so far out of the water that the Great Barrier Reef itself applauds in a quiet, refined manner. Which, come to think of it, sounds neither particularly Australian, or particularly reef-like.
It also doesn’t describe the Black Swan shiraz. It was a tasty bottle (and yeah, the bottle said “Cheers, mate!” as it disappeared down my gullet) but not spectacular.
The wine is a dark red, with a slight rusty brown around the edges. Sometimes that worries me, but it was such a slight color, I dove right in. The nose features some sharp herbaciousness and a pleasant plum note. The palate is dominated by a black cherry note, but in general is a very easy-drinking wine. A bit light and bright, with a short finish. It’s a crisp wine that is pretty awesome for every day drinking, but nothing to write home about.
Even if home is the vast viticultural area known as “South Eastern Australia.”