2008 Black Swan Shiraz

Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi!

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.”

Verdict: 87/100

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